Australia v South Africa, 2nd Test, Adelaide, 4th day November 25, 2012

Pattinson ruled out for Test summer


Pain from an unusual side and rib injury that has ruled James Pattinson out for the rest of the Test summer was so acute that Ricky Ponting revealed the 22-year-old fast bowler "could hardly breathe" after bowling on the third day in Adelaide.

As had been widely feared on Saturday, the results of scans have confirmed that Pattinson will miss a large chunk of the home Tests for the second consecutive summer, having suffered a serious foot injury in January during the series against India. Australia's players worried for Pattinson's welfare when he left the field after bowling seven deliveries with the second new ball.

In customary manner for a fast bowler, Pattinson felt the severe pain during his first over with the new ball but ignored it in the hope that he would be able to keep going, but the first ball of his second over will be the final one he delivers in Tests this summer, meaning he will miss the series decider against South Africa in Perth and the series against Sri Lanka, starting in Hobart on December 14.

"He was in a fair bit of pain," Ponting told Channel Nine. "I spoke to him after the first over he bowled and he could hardly breathe, so he is in a fair bit of trouble."

Precisely how much trouble was quantified by the team physio Alex Kountouris, who noted that the injury extended beyond the common side strain or tear to include rib damage. This may well extend Pattinson's recovery period, leaving the selectors to ponder how to get him fit in time for Australia's major Test match assignments of 2013 in India and England.

"James Pattinson sustained a left lower rib injury, similar to a 'side strain' on day three of the Test which will effectively rule him out of contention for the remaining Tests this summer," Kountouris said. "Whilst side strains are not uncommon in bowlers, James' injury involves some damage to the end of the rib and will need further investigation at the completion of this Test to determine the best course of management and the time frame to return to bowling."

Peter Siddle, who enjoyed an uncannily similar lead-in to the Tests that featured four Sheffield Shield appearances for Victoria and no Twenty20 matches, said he was unsure what else could have been done for Pattinson to avoid breaking down with major injury for the third time this year.

"All the plan was for red ball cricket and get ready for the Tests," Siddle said. "I think it's just part of cricket, there's a lot of talk about too much work or not enough work but I think his plan was perfect. It was no different to mine, he bowled a few more overs than me in the Shield games, but he was all primed.

'He was bowling well, his figures showed that in the Shield games, he was in exceptional forms. It's just one of those things, Test cricket, he bowled a lot of overs up in Brisbane and he's worked hard, and it's just hard work, it is tough to get through and get the body right and challenge yourself to push through. He's broken down but we all know he's a strong character and a tough competitor.

"There's been a lot of injuries around but he pushes through and get through. He's just disappointed he can't get out there now and help back us up and have a crack. It is a disappointing time for him, but he's upbeat, he just knows he's got to keep working towards getting that body right, getting back in the team and performing well. He'll come back strong."

Siddle himself admitted that he was feeling the effects of numerous long spells in Brisbane and Adelaide, with much still to be done by both he and Hilfenhaus on the final day. "My body's been better, a big first Test and a short turnaround between innings here," he said. "It's hard work, but there's always that carrot at the end of tomorrow afternoon.

"It's a part of Test cricket, that's the reason we play it, and we like that challenge. If we didn't like that challenge we wouldn't be playing, so that's the start of it, you just pick the ball and charge in and do what we do best - bowling overs. We'll keep doing that for the captain and the rest of the boys."

Pattinson was able to bat on day four, making a brave unbeaten 29, but his exit from the series means Mitchell Johnson and Josh Hazlewood are likely to come into contention for a bowling berth in the third Test at the WACA ground. The South Australia left-armer Gary Putland has also caught the eye with a 10-wicket haul for the Redbacks against Victoria at the MCG.

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Andrew on November 27, 2012, 0:45 GMT

    @BG4cricket on (November 25 2012, 21:58 PM GMT) - hastings got the call up!

  • Dummy4 on November 26, 2012, 7:16 GMT

    Australia should really consider Starc, especially after how strong his summer was in Yorkshire, he's definitely showing a lot of form and seems a crime to overlook him at a moment like this.

  • ankur on November 26, 2012, 7:12 GMT

    I think Pattinson and Patt Cummins have the worst fitness i have seen in a long long time...

    They both are young and i would suggest them to look for alternative career

  • John on November 26, 2012, 4:06 GMT

    I think it comes back to the over nurturing of young fast bowlers in our junior system. The original reason for puting restrictions on young bowlers was so over zeolous senior captains would not over bowl young bowlers. However this has had the opposite effect in so far as young bowlers are now having not having the stamina and strength to cope with the transition from junior to grade to state to test cricket. Food for thought.

  • adeel on November 26, 2012, 3:28 GMT

    i agree with croneyes....remove all the gym work that is unnecasary. get the bowlers to bowl all day and that'll get them fit. all those old great bowlers didn't spend 8hrs in the gym only to get injured after few overs! the gym makes them fit and looking good for the night out not for rigours of cricket!

  • Eddie on November 26, 2012, 2:12 GMT

    Johnson is not that in form at all. I cant believe the push for him. Starc is the future and has the accuracy johnson wishes he could have. Bollinger would be the next lefty i would pick, average of 25 in tests. Way better than johnson, The forgotten man is QLDs ben cutting. Excellent consistent form the past few seasons and he is the best batsman of the bowlers mentioned, which would help our very long tale. My team for the WACA would be warner, cowan, quiney, watson, clarke, hussey, wade, cutting, siddle, starc, lyon. Hilfenhaus looks like a park bowler out there. people forget how weak that indian team was last year where he got all those wickets.

  • Girik on November 26, 2012, 0:33 GMT

    @Jason Rawling, you make a good point. Not only do injuries seem to be more common, but each seems to take a longer time to recover. Many bowlers of yesterday talk about playing through the pain when they have a niggle or two. It might not be pretty post-retirement but if you want to play international cricket regularly then I think the injury prone just have to toughen up.

  • Christian on November 25, 2012, 23:59 GMT

    If Watson is fit to bowl, then we can play Hilf, Siddle, Starc & Lyon. No need to worry about throwing a new recruit into the heat of battle

  • Michael on November 25, 2012, 23:07 GMT

    It would have been great to have a fully-fit Pattinson bowling at Perth, but with his injury Starc will come straight into the side. Quiney will be dropped to accommodate Watson, meaning Australia will have 4 fast bowlers (assuming Watson doesn't break down again). If Pattinson was fit then Lyon may have been given a rest, but with the injury there is a case to play him. Please don't bring back Johnson - he's been in middling form at best. Bird and Hastings have been in better form, and Putland recently did well for South Australia. Hazlewood also hasn't been doing all that well of late.

  • Marty on November 25, 2012, 22:18 GMT

    Three guys I would like to see in are not playing. Trent Copeland - Peter George and Clint McKay ? Where are these guys ??

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