Boucher: No quick return
South African forced to undergo six surgeries since accident
Last Updated: August 8, 2012 3:24pm
Mark Boucher: Has had painful surgery
Former South Africa wicketkeeper Mark Boucher fears he may not be able to play professionally again after suffering a serious eye injury.
The 35-year-old's tour of England was cut short following the injury he suffered when a bail hit him in the eye in a tour match against Somerset at Taunton on July 9 and it was confirmed the following day he had retired from international cricket.
Following an emergency operation in England, he flew home for further surgery in Cape Town, with his medical team later reporting they were optimistic Boucher had a "reasonable recovery" of the vision in his left eye.
Boucher faced the South African media for the first time since the accident on Wednesday and revealed the full extent of the injury in a statement which was also released through Cricket South Africa.
"It has been a difficult time for me mentally and physically," he said.
"I have lost the lens, iris and pupil in my left eye. There was severe damage to my retina.
"I have had two major operations and four blood draining operations in the past three weeks and physically, at times, I have been in a lot of pain.
"I believe I am in good hands with my eye specialist and I accept that the healing process is a long one and that attaining some vision in my left eye will take some time and a lot of patience.
"It does get uncomfortable at times and being a sportsman, I want to be active and outdoors but, without a pupil, I find any amount of sunlight very harsh and have thus been restricted to the confines of my home.
"It is unlikely that I will play any professional cricket again in the near future, which is very unfortunate as I was looking forward to contributing as a player for the Cobras.
"The risk of additional damage to my left eye or even damage to the other eye, doesn't warrant it."
Boucher has revealed he had been inundated with messages of support since the accident at Taunton, in what would have been his final tour with the Proteas before hanging up his gloves.
Aside from thanking his family and friends, the South African also paid tribute to his team-mates.
"I have been overwhelmed by the incredible support I have received," he said.
"Thank you to CSA and SACA for standing by me, to the Cobras for supporting me ... and to the Proteas' Castle Lager squad - thank you for the amazing memories."
Boucher also voiced his determination as he continues on the road to recovery.
"I don't want people to feel sorry for me," he said.
"Injuries happen and this could have happened earlier on in my career.
"I am incredibly grateful for the length of career that I have had and the amazing things I have experienced and people I have met during that time.
"This is just another challenge in my life and something that I will be working to overcome."