Injury Concerns Mount Up For Australia

Injury Concerns Mount Up For Australia
Injury Concerns Mount Up For Australia
©REUTERS / Action Images

Australia's preparations for the first Test against South Africa in Brisbane have been hit by injury concerns for Ricky Ponting and Patrick Cummins.

Ponting has a hamstring problem and has been withdrawn from the current round of Sheffield Shield cricket and Cummins faces a lengthy layoff with a spine bone stress injury.

While Ponting is expected to recover and be fully fit for the first Test from 9th November in Brisbane, Cummins' latest injury setback is set to rule him out for the majority of the 2012/13 season.

The teenager has been beset by injuries and has still played only one Test although he recently helped Sydney Sixers win the Champions League Twenty20.

"Because of his age and past history we decided to investigate the source of the pain and unfortunately he has an early stage stress fracture of his spine, confirmed by scans today," Cricket Australia (CA) physiotherapist Alex Kountouris said.

"Pat had a spine bone stress injury  a few years ago but the current injury is new and in an entirely different part of the spine.

"We expect he will recover fully from this injury and will be closely monitored to determine his return to the playing field, but expect that he will miss most of the2012-13 domestic cricket season."

Ponting reported soreness in his hamstring during Tasmania's match against South Australia and CA have taken the decision to withdraw him as a precautionary measure.

"This is a precautionary move to ensure Ricky has the best possible preparation for the first Vodafone Test against South Africa in Brisbane next week," CA Executive General Manager Team Performance Pat Howard said.

"We’ve opted to withdraw Ricky from the game. If this wasn’t a week out from the first Vodafone Test then Ricky would continue with the match, but we don’t want to take that risk. We expect Ricky to be fit for the first Vodafone Test against South Africa."

© Cricket World 2012

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