IPL 2023: MS Dhoni injured knee, reveals CSK coach Stephen Fleming
Chennai, April 13 (Ians) Chennai Super Kings captain MS Dhoni is suffering from a knee injury which is hampering his run between the wickets, franchise coach Stephen Fleming has revealed after the IPL 2023 match against Rajasthan Royals, here.
During CSK’s run chase against the Royals on Wednesday night, Dhoni looked a little uncomfortable while taking the doubles and didn’t run at full capacity.
“He’s nursing a knee injury, which can be seen in some of his movements, which holds him back somewhat. But what I saw today is a great player for us. His fitness has always been very professional,” Fleming said in the post-match presentation.
Despite his knee problems, the 41-year-old Donny has been in fantastic form this season. He smashed an unbeaten 32 off 17 balls and pulled the Super Kings’ chase from 176 to the last ball against the Royals. The veteran hitter hit 58 runs in three innings at a strike rate of nearly 215, including six, six and four.
Fleming brushed off any concerns about Dhoni’s fitness and commended him for the way he is managing himself ahead of the IPL season.
“He came a month before the tournament starts, so he doesn’t get a chance to do much [before that]. He will keep fit, and they will do some netting in Ranchi, but his main season [fitness] A month ago when he comes to Chennai,” the CSK coach said.
“He made his way back into match form and I think you can still see he’s playing well. So we don’t have any doubts about the way he runs himself and he’s always aware of the pace.”
Apart from Dhoni, the likes of Ben Stokes, Deepak Chahar, Simarjeet Singh and Mukesh Choudhary (excluded) are also plagued by injury problems and South Africa’s Sisanda Magala is the latest addition.
Magala, who coincidentally joined the Super Kings squad as a substitute player after New Zealander Kyle Jamison was ruled out of the entire tournament due to injury, threw just two tackles against the Royals before leaving the court with a split belt.
“For us again, he’s losing another player – that’s two games in a row – and we’re already very weak, so we’d like to [injuries] Fleming said.
“Majala’s hand was split, unfortunately, so he wasn’t able to hit those last two. Same with Deepak Chahar in the last game, so we’re running on pretty scant resources. But we’re not the only team that has that.
Notably, CSK has lost Chahar due to a hamstring injury only once in their match against Mumbai Indians. According to Fleming, he is two to three weeks away from returning to action while Simarjeet Singh who missed almost the entire Indian domestic season due to injury, is still recovering.
“I think a lot of players who come out of a big domestic season are a bit broken, but we still have to find solutions,” Fleming said.
“So we’ll do that in the next four days. But yeah, it’s not perfect yet. The captain has to think on his feet.” [if bowlers keep getting injured. Moeen Ali had to come back after Magala hurt his webbing and he hadn’t had a great day but he got the wicket of [Jos] Butler that was good. And you have young players like Akash Singh who will be making his debut, having to hit some key overs. It’s not how we plan it but T20 rarely gets planned.”