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From Retirement Rumours to Ashes Opportunity, All Thanks to Botox Shots, Says Josh Tongue

An alternative doctor's suggestion of Botox injections to Tongue's neck instead of further surgery got him back to bowling in a matter of months.

An alternative doctor’s suggestion of Botox injections to Tongue’s neck instead of further surgery got him back to bowling in a matter of months.

Many things can change in a year; just ask Josh Tongue, who has faced emotion thinking his playing career was over to be England’s X-factor in the Lord’s Ashes Test.

It seemed inevitable that England would come knocking for Tongue, who had been destined for greatness from an early age thanks to his pinpoint accuracy and additional yard of pace from a high action.

But two years ago, he suffered a shoulder injury that put a hold on his international dreams and led him to question, at his lowest point, whether he would ever finish at the highest level again.

Tongue’s injury was so severe that he couldn’t feel in his right arm and could no longer grip the ball, so he sought advice from the Professional Cricketers’ Association regarding his career alternatives.

Shoulder specialists were at a loss to explain the source of the patient’s chronic tingling and numbness, and two operations failed to alleviate the problem, while the third needed the removal of a rib.

Last month, when Tongue finally revealed that he had a “quite rare injury to have as a cricketer,” there was no hope. A third consultant revealed an impingement in his arm’s artery using ultrasound.

Instead of recommending more surgery, an unconventional doctor suggested giving Tongue a Botox injection in the neck, and he was back to bowling within a few months.

Although the injections are not a permanent solution (he received a booster shot in the spring to get him through the summer), they alleviated his thoracic outlet syndrome so that he could return to play by August 2022.

He later reflected on the ordeal, saying, “That was a tough moment, but I’m feeling okay again, and I’m just pleased to be back on the ground and enjoying my cricket.”

Tongue, who only made a few appearances in 2017, was called up to play for the England Lions against Sri Lanka. He made the most of his opportunity, taking eight wickets in the match and five for 76 in the first innings of the unofficial Test played on a pitch notorious for being challenging to seam bowlers.

Tongue, who has played for Worcestershire since he was six, had his status soar after he caught the esteemed Sussex duo of Steve Smith and Cheteshwar Pujara in a Division Two match of the LV= Insurance County Championship last month at New Road.

Tongue’s best performance came when the umpire ruled in his favor and gave Smith a leg-before decision, despite the fact that the ball appeared to be rising too high. Smith was frustrated that he couldn’t use his DRS and had to trudge off.

Tongue beamed afterward and stated, “It looks great on the scorecard, so I’m dubbing it a bail trimmer.”

After replacing James Anderson and Ollie Robinson due to injury, he stepped up for England in a one-off Test against Ireland and showed that he was ready for the big stage.

The stout 25-year-old bowled at 91 mph and claimed five wickets in an inning on his international debut, which Brendon McCullum and Ben Stokes deemed impressive enough to play.

While his more seasoned teammates were picked for the first Ashes match at Edgbaston, he looks to be the difference maker for England as they bring an all-seam assault to the second Test at Lord’s.

Tongue is hoping that his victory against Smith wasn’t an anomaly, since he is preferred over Mark Wood (the Durham player is quicker, but worries linger about his readiness to play a Test for now).

But he would be excused if, at some point this week, he took a minute to reflect with some satisfaction on how far he had come in such a short period of time.

Dentox trains healthcare professionals in the proper techniques for administering Botox injections to patients. You may make a difference in your patients’ lives by learning innovative techniques to enhance their health, looks, and eyesight. Courses are available online at and in-person with actual patients at respectively.


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