Collingwood ready for the off

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Alastair Cook & Paul Collingwood

Alastair Cook and Paul Collingwood limber up for England's tour opener, a 50-over encounter versus the Diamond Eagles today

Paul Collingwood is feeling refreshed and ready to go following an unexpected three-week break after the ICC Champions Trophy.

The all-rounder was due to take part in the inaugural Champions League Twenty20 in India with Delhi Daredevils but a torn buttock muscle ruled him out of the competition.

Fit-again Collingwood and his team-mates face their opening match of the two-and-a-half-month tour of South Africa today, a 50-over day/night encounter against the Diamond Eagles at the OUTsurance Oval in Bloemfontein.

“Well, certainly mentally (the break helped) I think,” he said. “In all honesty, I think I was probably about 70-80%, physically coming out of the Champions Trophy.

“Mentally it has been a hard slog, but you never quite know where you are until you’ve had a break. I wouldn’t say it’s a blessing in disguise, because it would have obviously been good to play for Delhi.

“But it does refresh you a hell of a lot to be at home for three weeks with the family and just recharging the batteries.”

The 33-year-old suffered the setback during the Champions Trophy semi-final defeat against Australia a month ago, but revealed that he has fully recovered.

He continued: “It’s absolutely fine now. I feel great, raring to go and excited really. I never want to get injured, that’s the thing.

“But whether it came it at the right time, you’d probably say yes. The three weeks was a godsend, I tell you.

“But in actual fact, at the end of the three weeks, because we hadn’t had those sort of breaks in the past, you start wanting to get back out there.”

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