Aaron Finch was taken for x-rays after a fierce blow on his right index finger on the third day in Perth, but appeared to have escaped serious injury. Finch was struck a painful blow in the 13th over of the innings by Mohammed Shami in more or less the same spot where he had twice been struck by Mitchell Starc in net sessions earlier in the summer.
A more positive assessment of Finch's finger emerged shortly after play, although it remained to seen what role he would take in the remainder of the second innings.
"Pretty sure he's been cleared of any serious damage," Nathan Lyon said. "I'm still not sure whether he's going to bat, so if he bats he bats, if he doesn't we'll just have to make do with whatever we can get to. But great news for Aaron that he's been cleared of any serious damage."
Starc, who contributed to some of Finch's pain, told Fox Sports: "I think his finger is still numb. I think they put some stuff in it, but we'll see how it goes overnight. There's a bit of swelling there and he will, I guess, spend the night with the doctors as well and test it out in the morning to see if he can keep batting."
"I think that's the third time he's been hit on it in the last four weeks. So not ideal. Unfortunately I was one of those one's that got him. Hopefully it goes okay overnight and he can keep batting tomorrow at some point."
The finger troubles for Finch had begun when Starc hit him on the bottom hand during training for the first ODI of the season, also in Perth against South Africa last month, and the same spot was hit by the same bowler in Australia's main training session before the first Test in Adelaide, whereupon Finch muttered the words "same finger" before seeking treatment from the team doctor Richard Saw.
After struggling in both innings of the Adelaide Test, Finch scrapped his way to a half-century alongside Marcus Harris on day one of the Perth Test, and having reached 25 not out in the second innings was quickly wringing his right hand after the blow from Shami.
In obvious pain, Finch received extensive treatment on the field before it was decided that he must retire hurt to seek further information on the seriousness of the blow. The umpires then called for tea about a minute earlier than scheduled, and Finch did not resume in the evening session.
It's not the first time Shami has inconvenienced an Australian batsman this series, having also struck Tim Paine on the right index finger in the second innings in Adelaide and duly creating a wave of concerns given the captain's long history of troubles with the digit.