The ArgusHe misses opening day - but Nash is just glad to be on road to recovery (From The Argus)

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He misses opening day - but Nash is just glad to be on road to recovery

The Argus: Chris Nash back in good health - and good spirits - at the recent Sussex media day Chris Nash back in good health - and good spirits - at the recent Sussex media day

Chris Nash is determined to defy the doctors by making his comeback from a potentially fatal illness quicker than expected.

Nash was rushed to hospital in February for emergency surgery to remove a burst appendix after collapsing on his kitchen floor in the middle of the night.

Sussex’s vice captain admits the prospect of playing cricket again was the last thing on his mind as surgeons raced against time to prevent any serious long-term damage.

Eight weeks on and Nash has been able to return to light training but today misses his first County Championship match through injury since 2009 as Sussex take on Middlesex at Hove.

Medical advice suggests Nash will not be ready to return until mid-May but the 30-year-old has targeted the third match of the season against Somerset at Hove for his potential comeback.

Nash said: “I had not been feeling very well for three or four days but my other half had a virus at the same time so I just thought it was the same thing.

“I went to see the doctor and was given some tablets and sent home but that night I woke up in agony.

“I went to try to get a glass of milk as I thought that might cure it and ended up curled up on kitchen floor, unable to move.

“We quickly realised it wasn’t just stomach ache and had to get an ambulance out and the paramedics immediately identified that my appendix had burst.

“It was a scary time because I had never had anything seriously wrong with me before and suddenly I had my parents and other half standing around my hospital bed looking terrified.

“In the worst case scenario it can be fatal but they got me into surgery within half an hour so I was very lucky.”

The illness could hardly have come at a worse time for Nash, who has been a virtual ever present in the Sussex side in all formats of the game for the last five seasons.

As well as opening the batting he offers vital support as vice-captain while also providing a spin option which could be even more crucial with Monty Panesar no longer at Hove. The former Horsham batsman is trying to take the positives from his enforced lay-off, however, and hopes it will help him remain fresh right until the end of the season.

Nash added: “When it first happened I was sitting in hospital thinking ‘I am going to miss training next week’ but then it sinks in and you just want to be healthy again.

“Your perspective changes a bit from worrying about missing a couple of games to just being able to walk up and down the stairs.

“I couldn’t even go outside for weeks so the last thing I was thinking about was cricket.

“I had to be looked after by my mum as I couldn’t do anything. I remember trying to pack the dishwasher and had to give up because it really hurt so even small things like that were too much for me.

“I lost 8kg of muscle which I had built up over the years so effectively I’m starting from scratch again.

“It’s slow progress because I’ve got to make sure that I don’t do any further damage which could affect me in three or four months’ time.

“Even breathing was hard to begin with but that’s slowly coming back and I’ve been told I can pick up a bat again at the end of the week.

“People joke about my powers of recovery but I am an optimist so when it happened I immediately set a date of the third game and the surgeon looked at me and said ‘no chance’. That’s what I will work towards and if I don’t get it at least I’ve tried.

“If I miss that one I’ll keep going until I get there.”

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