Australian leg-spinner Mitchell Swepson faces a scary and uncertain fight to return to the cricket field after scans revealed a fractured neck vertebrae.
The 27-year-old reportedly first complained of neck pain prior to the Big Bash League, and just after he had played three international Twenty20 games against India in December, the third of which he took 3-23 and was player of the match.
He played six Big Bash games for Brisbane Heat but was also a member of the Aussie Test squad, although didn’t get a call-up in the series against India.
Upon returning to the Queensland cricket camp he again sought medical advice for his neck pain, and was sent for scans which revealed a stress fracture in his C6 vertebrae.
“It is certainly not a common injury with spinners for instance, and so while Australian cricket has a great deal of information about managing stress fractures in fast bowlers, it is not quite as clear cut in Mitch’s case,’’ Queensland Cricket sports science and sports medicine manager Martin Love said.
“We will work closely with Mitch and Cricket Australia to manage his recovery. We are encouraged by the successful returns of many bowlers who have had to deal with back stress fractures during their careers so hopefully this case proves relatively straight forward.”
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Swepson looks like missing the remainder of the Australian domestic season.
It’s a serious blow for Queensland, given Swepson was the Sheffield Shield’s leading wicket taker with 23 at 21.17 before this injury, including three five-wicket innings.
“I’m obviously extremely disappointed that I can’t be out there playing for Queensland right now but I’m trying to remain positive and will be doing everything that I can to get some games in towards the end of the season,” Swepson said in a statement.
Swepson has played four international Twenty20s for Australia and has 46 first-class matches to his name.
England captain Joe Root on Wednesday urged umpires to be more consistent with decisions after a tough opening day of the crucial day-night third Test against India.
The tourists were bowled out for 112 after electing to bat first at the world’s biggest stadium in Ahmedabad with Indian spinner Axar Patel taking six wickets. India ended the day on 99-3.
But it were two calls by TV umpire Chettithody Shamshuddin that left England fuming and Root had a long conversation with the on-field umpire on both occasions.
Root was overheard on the stump microphones telling the on-field officials “all we want is consistency”.
Axar Patel claimed six wickets as India gained the upper hand in their crucial day-night third Test against England on Wednesday, bowling out their rivals for 112 and then getting within 13 runs of taking the lead.
Only the loss of captain Virat Kohli in the final over spoiled the opening day for India as they moved to 99 for three at the world’s biggest cricket stadium with Rohit Sharma on 57 and Ajinkya Rahane on one.
Spin bowlers again dominated with Patel taking the starring role while England’s Jack Leach claimed two wickets, including Kohli for 27.