Cummins nurses sore back
Pat Cummins' young career may again be held up by injury as he awaits the results of scans on a sore back following his return from the Twenty20 Champions League in South Africa.
Though he arrived in Sydney hopeful of a cameo role on the final day of New South Wales' Sheffield Shield match against Queensland starting on Friday, Cummins was also nursing back discomfort following his exertions to help the Sydney Sixers win the CLT20 title.
He went on from the airport to have his back examined, also meeting with CA's physio Alex Kountouris. "Pat came back from Champions League T20 with some back soreness," a Cricket Australia spokesperson said. "He had preliminary scans today and is due to have further investigations over the next few days to establish a diagnosis."
While the scans may yet clear Cummins of any major problems, they are another unhappy episode in a year that has been beset by injury troubles since his compelling Test match debut against South Africa in Johannesburg a little less than a year ago.
Cummins was man of the match as Australia squeaked home by two wickets, but foot soreness that developed across the match turned out to be the early signs of a stress fracture, keeping Cummins out of the entire home summer. He next played for Australia on the ODI tour of England in June, but was promptly forced home by a side strain.
Having recovered from that injury, Cummins turned out for Australia on T20 duty in the UAE against Pakistan and the World T20 in Sri Lanka, bowling well in combination with the left-armer Mitchell Starc.
However his 19-year-old body remains clearly fragile, and will now be monitored extra closely by CA as they try to work out whether Cummins may still figure in Australia's home Test matches against South Africa and Sri Lanka.
"You want to play as much cricket as possible and it starts with the Shield and I haven't played Shield for close to 18 months now so I am chomping at the bit to get out there," Cummins said on his return home. "It's ok that is mapped out three or four months in advance but it does hurt when you are sitting on the sidelines and you feel relatively fit and there are other people playing."
Queensland had indicated their unhappiness at being made to wait to hear which players would be nominated as replacements for the Blues Australian representatives to be pulled out of the final day of their Sheffield Shield match in Brisbane. However the delay has been partly due to the wait for fitness reports on Cummins and also Brad Haddin, who nursed a wounded finger through the latter phases of the CLT20.
Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here