Buoyant Bresnan ready to impress
England bowler Tim Bresnan is confident he is back to his best after one of the toughest decisions of his life to go through with a second elbow operation.
The stakes cannot get much higher for a professional sportsman than an international seamer putting the joint in his bowling arm in for 'make-or-break' surgery.
Thankfully for the 28-year-old, said surgery proved successful and he is now hoping to feature in the first Investec Test against New Zealand after an impressive start to the county season with Yorkshire.
Bresnan first had an operation on his troublesome elbow in December 2011 and admitted he had concerns ahead of the latest procedure three months ago.
"A couple of hours before the op, it's like 'well, this could go one of two ways. I might never play for England again, or play cricket again, or I might be back better than ever'," he explained.
"You've got to weigh up that risk and then just sort of decide and get on with it really."
Bresnan is candid enough to acknowledge he was down on pace when last representing his country, in January's one-day series in India.
"I probably lost three or four yards. But I feel as though I've got that back," he said.
"I can sit here and say whatever...but it's just as easy to show you.
"Without sounding over-confident, I can spin you a yarn and say 'It's all brilliant and roses and everything' - or I can just get out on the park and show you exactly what my pace is like.
"I've not been in front of a speed-gun, but it feels good."
It is not so long ago that his bowling arm felt anything but 'good'.
"It got to the point where sometimes it was hurting and sometimes it wasn't. Sometimes it was stiff, sometimes it wasn't," he said.
"There were just a lot of variables and I found it difficult especially to prepare for games - knowing it could potentially be sore for the next day or so.
"It was definitely something that needed sorting out.
"I don't think anything could stop me in my tracks when you're out in the middle and you've got the adrenaline and you've got the England shirt on.
"You want to run through brick walls for that. But obviously it's just not nice doing it: a) not to the best of your ability and b) in a little bit of discomfort."
Bresnan did not brood over the likely consequences if surgery did not work.
"I'm not really a deep thinker," he said. "But it does flash through your head and then you think 'Yes, let's just get on with it'."
The same sentiment, broadly, applies again this week.
"Since I'm here, I might as well think I can do the job," he said.
"I'm obviously fully-fit. There's been no reaction, no ill-effects from the operation. So I'm back better than I was before the first operation.
"I'd love to play. I'm not here to carry the drinks. I'm here to play in the game, throw my hat in the ring for selection."
If he is given the opportunity to prove his point to captain Alastair Cook, so much the better.
"The next two practice days will probably tell the management, Cookie, a lot about where I'm at and what I can do," Bresnan added.
"I wouldn't be surprised at all if the net rota goes up and I'm bowling at him. That's one of the things that (team director) Andy (Flower) likes to do.
"But I'm just happy to be back playing cricket...pain free, and somewhere like the best of my ability. It doesn't matter who I bowl at in the nets."