Six surgeries on the left toe, another six on the right, all in one day. Any person would have been traumatized had he gone under the knife a dozen times in a day. But not S Sreesanth.

Six months after those surgeries and after being out from the cricket field for more than a year, the maverick pacer is all set to swing into action as he makes his first-class comeback for Kerala against Tripura in Agartala on Saturday.

Sreesanth revealed the past year has been the toughest in his life.

"When I was undergoing surgery after surgery, I thought my cricketing career was over. Forget cricket, I couldn't even walk and was in the wheel chair for almost two months. I went through unbearable pain. Now I have platinum screws on my toes. But that won't stop me from bowling at my best," Sreesanth told TOI from Bangalore before he left for Agartala on Thursday morning.

Though it is too early to think of playing international cricket again, Sreesanth admits it is the lure of playing for the country that has helped him in making a speedy recovery.

"I miss wearing that Team India cap on the cricket field. The dream of playing for India made me walk again, run again and bowl again. I received great support from the BCCI, KCA and the entire staff at NCA. Thanks to them I am ready for the grind of domestic cricket yet again. And I know I am only half through in reaching my goal," he quipped.

But gone are the days of long run-ups for the 29-year old pacer. On his comeback trail, Sreesanth will bowl with a much shorter run-up.

"Injury played a part in pruning my run-up. I am also not getting any younger. Earlier, I used to start from 36 yards. Now my run-up is of 23 yards but that hasn't affected my pace. I still clock between 135 and 140kmph."

Asked whether the public admonishment by Indian skipper MS Dhoni for his slow over rate in South Africa played a part in his decision to shorten his run-up, Sreesanth laughed and said: "It's always good to be in the good books of captains. Now my captains will not have a problem with my over rate."

With Indian team's fortunes sliding fast, the team management, selectors and cricket fans would be keeping a close watch on Sreesanth in the next couple of weeks.

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