Ontong pulled up with a lower back strain when diving to field a ball at the long on boundary against the Barbados Tridents in the Champions League Twenty20 in India.
He experienced back spasms, but the physiotherapist of the Cobras, Shane Jabaar, has given him some stretching exercises to do and he says he is positive that he can start the campaign against the Knights.
The Cobras shared the Momentum One Day Cup with the bizhub Highveld Lions in 2012/2013, and was joint winner with The Unlimited Titans in 2013/2014.
Ontong could be the vital ingredient for the Cobras in the middle period.
The Cobras were off to rollicking starts during the Champions League, but lost their way to the slow bowlers in the middle period. Two examples were the four wickets they lost for 53 runs in seven overs against Northern Districts, and eight for 30 that tumbled off 34 balls against the Kings X1 Punjab.
Ontong scored 268 runs during the Momentum One Day Cup 2012/2013-campaign at an average of 44.66.
He managed 259 runs in the domestic 50-over showpiece last season and averaged 32.37. Those figures are still very impressive, considering that he batted at number five or six and had a strike rate of close to 110.
Ontong said the team will discuss the Momentum One Day Cup competition on Monday when they get together.
It is still uncertain how the top-five will take shape.
“We might start with Andrew Puttick and Richard Levi, while using Stiaan van Zyl at number three and Omphile Ramela at four. I can go at five and Dane Vilas at six.
“But perhaps we want to change that up a bit so that we don’t have as many left-handers in the top-order,” said Ontong.
The classy and inspirational captain will be toiling hard with Jabaar and will be doing his stretching exercises the next nine days, as he will probably hold the key to a strong start for the Cape Town-based franchise.