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Paine's future uncertain following further surgery

Daniel Brettig

December 14, 2011

Comments: 51 | Text size: A | A

Tim Paine leaps acrobatically in the air, India v Australia, 2nd Test, Bangalore, 4th day, October 12, 2010
Tim Paine's future with the Australian team is far from certain © AFP
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Tim Paine, Australia's heir-apparent wicket keeper, has been ruled out for four months and faces an uncertain future in the game after being told his battered right index finger requires extensive bone-graft surgery.

A series of breaks to Paine's right index finger, starting with an exhibition Twenty20 match in Brisbane last summer, and unsuccessful surgery to repair the damage in September, has left the 27-year-old with a digit not up to the rigours of batting and keeping wicket.

The new round of surgery, which takes place today, will seek to correct damage left by the use of plates that have broken when Paine has attempted to resume training.

"Tim Paine's recovery from surgery for a fractured finger has been slower than expected," Cricket Australia's doctor Trefor James said. "Tim has been reviewed by specialists and CA medical staff.

"It is clear that the fracture has not healed as expected and the best course of action is for Tim to undergo further surgery. This will be performed today (Wednesday) and it is expected that Tim will be unavailable for a further 3-4 months."

Paine played four Tests in 2010 and acquitted himself well, making scores of 92 and 59 in the Mohali and Bangalore matches against India. He was dropped to make way for the return of Brad Haddin at the start of last year's Ashes summer but he has been widely considered a future leader of the national team.

He captained Australia A on a successful mid-2011 tour of Zimbabwe, but is now unsure of when or if he will be back in contention for a Test spot. Paine was also captain of the Hobart Hurricanes Twenty20 team.

"I'm obviously disappointed with this latest setback. I am hopeful that I can get the injury right and recover fully so that I can get back to playing cricket in the near future," Paine said.

His absence will widen the window for the Victoria 'keeper Matthew Wade to press for Haddin's spot in the national team.

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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Posted by Meety on (December 16, 2011, 1:18 GMT)

@ youngkeepersdad - I was mainly trying to say I thought other players would of been worth giving a crack to BEFORE Ludeman. Maybe it was seen that Ludeman is not a viable BBL option - so they gave him a crack. I would assume because he has got experience that he is a decent cricketer.

Posted by ygkd on (December 15, 2011, 11:00 GMT)

Cannot agree with Meety that Ludeman doesn't deserve a go in a tour gig. Another comment that you can't always tell someone's age by their looks applies as much to him as it does to his state team-mate Lyon. Both are younger than the young-looking Paine, who I am sorry to see has injured himself out of the current equation.

Posted by Aussierise on (December 15, 2011, 5:02 GMT)

this makes it very VERY interesting for the selectors....on one hand the Argus Review has said that players need to be selected on current form etc etc...however i'm not sure that the phillip hughes (no form/low batting average)/simon katich (solid form/sound average)/ and even pat cummins(hardly any first class games) selections was in line with this new selection policy? So the point that i'm getting at is that the selectors have to make a tough choice....to either stick with the Argus Review policy or throw it out the window, which would mean that Wade (been great for about 2 years now - and his current form is in line with the Argus) or Hartley (been very solid for about 5-6 years now - deserving of an opportunity - but not in line with the Argus), or Neville (been great this season - excellent current form and in line with the Argus policy), or Triffit (a selection for the future...aka cummins- but not in line with Argus). Only time will tell?

Posted by Ms.Cricket on (December 15, 2011, 3:35 GMT)

An injured Paine would still perform better behind the wickets and with the bat than a fully fit Haddin!

Posted by Ms.Cricket on (December 15, 2011, 3:32 GMT)

Some sinister hocus pocus on Paine by Haddin. How else could you explain the continuous bad luck with injuries to the very talented Paine that allows the incompetent Haddin to keep his place in the Australian team?

Posted by malomay on (December 14, 2011, 23:10 GMT)

@zenboomerang "This has been a long term injury that wasn't handled properly by Paine & CA".......

This was an injury CAUSED by CA !.... forcing Paine to play in a ridiculous exhibition 20/20 match. They should absolutely be be held accountable for this.

Posted by FatBoysCanBat on (December 14, 2011, 23:03 GMT)

This is really bad news for Paine but is probably a blessing in disguise for Australia. From what I've heard Wade is just as capable with the gloves as Paine [Hartley is probably the best in Aus] and is a more accomplished batsman. Paine only has one century in his first-class career and averages 31 [this has improved during the last few seasons] whereas Wade has an average touching 40 with four tons from a similar number of matches. Haddin must score runs in the first two Tests against India or else the next cab off the rank - at the moment it is Wade - must be selected for the next match.

Posted by northumbriannomad on (December 14, 2011, 13:21 GMT)

They repaired his finger using plates that promptly broke when he started training? Another triumph for medical science there... Good luck to him, hope he recovers from the injury and from the doctors.

Posted by Gordo85 on (December 14, 2011, 12:04 GMT)

I am currently rather worried though because I think they will keep on playing Haddin even though he isn't making any real runs. Not to mention he got promoted to Vice Captain but I think if Watson comes back he would obviously take over as vice captain. The selectors back in Healy's time didn't like giving victorian wicket keepers a go for Australia at all and to be honest it looks like it could be the same principle because thus far Haddin hasn't been dropped proberly down to the fact he is from New South Wales plays a rather big part of it.

Posted by RandyOZ on (December 14, 2011, 12:02 GMT)

More than ever, it is time for the wrost keep in Aus (Haddin) to step down, and the best keeper in the world (Wade) to step up. If not the selectors may as well go jump! @landl, thanks for once again showing us your complete lack of cricketing knowledge. We know who's comments to skip now!

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Daniel Brettig Assistant editor Daniel Brettig had been a journalist for eight years when he joined ESPNcricinfo, but his fascination with cricket dates back to the early 1990s, when his dad helped him sneak into the family lounge room to watch the end of day-night World Series matches well past bedtime. Unapologetically passionate about indie music and the South Australian Redbacks, Daniel's chief cricketing achievement was to dismiss Wisden Almanack editor Lawrence Booth in the 2010 Ashes press match in Perth - a rare Australian victory that summer.
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