Injured Steven Smith returns from IPL
Steven Smith is expected to be fit for the upcoming Australia A series in England despite suffering a back injury that has forced his withdrawal from the remainder of the IPL.
Cricket Australia on Thursday confirmed that Smith was returning home from India due to the issue with his lower back, which was likely to make him unavailable for any more matches with Pune Warriors. However, his role as vice-captain to Brad Haddin for the Australia A games, which begin on June 7, is not expected to be in doubt.
"While the injury is minor, Pune respected Smith's upcoming playing commitments and advised it was best for him to return to Australia for treatment," Cricket Australia said in a statement. "CA expects Smith to be fully fit for his upcoming commitments with Australia A, where he will be vice-captain."
Smith missed out on a place in Australia's Ashes squad despite being one of the strongest performers with the bat on the recent Test tour of India, where his footwork against the spinners put him second only to captain Michael Clarke on Australia's batting averages.
He has also topped the average for Pune Warriors so far in their IPL campaign with 159* runs at 39.75.
*07.45GMT, May 9: The article had incorrectly stated Smith aggregated 161 in IPL 2013