Knee surgery cuts Elliott from finals campaigns
Matthew Elliott will take no part in South Australia's pursuit of spots in the Pura and ING Cup finals after knee surgery on Tuesday ruled him out for the season. Doctors expect Elliott will face a 12-week recovery following the operation to remove several fragments and treat the bone surface.
Elliott has struggled with the problem this year and the procedure also involved cutting the tissue next to the knee cap. It is not the first time Elliott has had knee trouble. His Test introduction in 1996-97 was interrupted in his second match when he needed an operation after a mid-pitch collision with Mark Waugh. The surgery also places in doubt his off-season stint with the English county Glamorgan, who he played for last year before cutting short his stay because of injury.
After moving from Victoria to South Australia at the start of the season, Elliott has had a disappointing return with 171 runs at 24.42 in the Pura Cup and 178 at 35.6 in the one-day competition. The Redbacks will rely on further strong performances from Mark Cosgrove and Darren Lehmann as they attempt to cover the four-point gap to the current leaders Victoria.
Their first assignment is a limited-overs match against Queensland at the Gabba on Friday, and a win would cement a place in the final on February 26. The Bulls are at the bottom of the table and have handed a debut to the Sandgate-Redcliffe fast bowler Nathan Rimmington.
Rimmington, 23, replaces Mitchell Johnson, who was named in the Australia one-day team to tour South Africa today, while James Hopes swaps spots with the allrounder Shane Watson. An Academy graduate in 2005, Rimmington was the second-youngest winner of the Peter Burge Medal as the best and fairest Brisbane first-grade player in 2003-04.
Hopes also steps in for Watson in Sunday's Pura Cup clash as Queensland, who are two points ahead of South Australia, push for a finals berth. Ashley Noffke has been promoted to the squad in Johnson's absence.
Queensland ING Cup squad Jimmy Maher (capt), Matthew Hayden, James Hopes, Clinton Perren, Steven Paulsen, Brendan Nash, Chris Hartley (wk), Andy Bichel, Nathan Hauritz, Michael Kasprowicz, Ashley Noffke, Nathan Rimmington.
South Australia ING Cup squad Greg Blewett, Cameron Borgas, Mark Cosgrove, Callum Ferguson, Darren Lehmann (capt), Daniel Harris, Ken Skewes, Ryan Harris, Graham Manou (wk), Mark Cleary, Jason Gillespie, Cullen Bailey, Shaun Tait.
Queensland Pura Cup squad Jimmy Maher (capt), Matthew Hayden, Martin Love, James Hopes, Clinton Perren, Lachlan Stevens, Brendan Nash, Chris Hartley (wk), Andy Bichel, Daniel Doran, Michael Kasprowicz, Ashley Noffke.
South Australia Pura Cup squad Greg Blewett, Cameron Borgas, Mark Cosgrove, Callum Ferguson, Darren Lehmann (capt), Ben Cameron, Graham Manou (wk), Mark Cleary, Jason Gillespie, Paul Rofe, Dan Cullen, Cullen Bailey, Shaun Tait.