Star batsman Will Pucovski continues to battle a shoulder injury and will consider surgery after all but being ruled out of Victoria’s Sheffield Shield clash against NSW next week.
Pucovski has not played since he partially dislocated his right shoulder in the field during his Test debut against India in Sydney, and missed the series-deciding clash at the Gabba.
Will Pucovski is considering surgery due to a shoulder injury.Credit:Getty Images
He had opted against surgery, preferring cortisone injections, rest and physiotherapy in bid to make the now aborted Test tour of South Africa, but was clearly in discomfort in the nets on Thursday and has all but been ruled out of the clash against the Blues.
Victorian coach Chris Rogers said Pucovski was set to seek more feedback on what his next move should be, for “it would be fair to say he is probably unlikely now” to face the Blues from Wednesday.
“He had a net session [on Thursday], it looked quite sore. We are going to see how it pulls up but just going on what we probably observed, and how he felt [on Thursday], it is probably unlikely he is going to be able to get up for this first Sheffield Shield game,” Rogers said.
“We will look to target the second one back in Melbourne [against the Blues from February 25].”
Rogers said a final call on how Pucovski wants to handle the injury will be the latter’s to make but Cricket Victoria and Cricket Australia medical staff will also have input.
“He will be getting a lot of advice from different people, so I think that will probably become a little bit clearer over the next week or two,” Rogers said.
“It’s hard when you are not playing at 100 per cent. You start to think that’s how you are going to play for the rest of your career. Particularly as the shoulder hasn’t responded to rehab as well he would have liked it to have, he is probably really considering that option of surgery. He will go and talk to the relevant people and we should hear what he has to say.”
Australia appear unlikely to reach the inaugural World Test Championship final at Lord’s in June, meaning Pucovski would have a full winter to recuperate should he opt for surgery before the next Test series looms – a home Ashes campaign.
He was to have been rested from Monday’s opening domestic one-day clash against the Blues at the SCG where James Pattinson is set to play only his second major match of the summer.
The Victorian spearhead has just returned to Premier cricket but his last match of international or domestic note was for Australia A against India at Drummoyne Oval in December.
He was part of the Test squad but did not play in the opening two matches and then hurt his ribs in a freak accident on his property after the Boxing Day Test, ruling him out of Sydney and Brisbane.
“He wants to get out there, he is a natural competitor. He wants to be on the park as much as he can,” Rogers said.
Cricket Victoria operations chief Shaun Graf was set to helm a meeting on Friday afternoon determining whether the Vics would have to leave early for NSW because of the threat of another lockdown in Melbourne. There could also be implications for the rest of the Shield season, the initial batch of matches having been held in a bio-secure hub before Christmas.
Victoria’s one-day cup squad: Peter Handscomb (c), Xavier Crone, Zak Evans, Jake Fraser-McGurk, Sam Harper, Marcus Harris, Mackenzie Harvey, Jon Holland, Nic Maddinson, James Pattinson, Matt Short, Will Sutherland.
Victoria’s Sheffield Shield squad: Peter Handscomb (c), Scott Boland, Seb Gotch, Marcus Harris, Jon Holland, Nic Maddinson, Wil Parker, James Pattinson, Mitch Perry, Will Pucovski, Matt Short, Will Sutherland.
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