Concussed Chris Rogers to miss first Test
Australia opener Chris Rogers will miss the first Test against West Indies in Roseau from June 3 because of a concussion he suffered after getting hit in the nets on Sunday. Shaun Marsh appears likely to take his place.
Rogers batted briefly after the blow to the helmet, inflicted by a local net bowler, but pulled up sore on Monday morning and was ruled out by the team doctor Peter Brukner.
Brukner tested Rogers at the team hotel on Sunday afternoon and found evidence of various concussion symptoms such as dizziness; they had not alleviated significantly enough by Monday morning. Rogers was informed of the decision by Brukner, the coach Darren Lehmann and the captain Michael Clarke as training began on Monday at Windsor Park.
"He won't be returning to training until he's fully recovered," Brukner said. "He'll have a return to play process once he's symptom-free of a few days, gradually increasing his activity before he gets back to it. It's likely he'll be available for the second Test but we won't know that for a few days yet. I spoke to Darren and Michael and they were comfortable with it. I assured Michael if it was him or anybody else, we would be making the exact same decision.
"This is a black-and-white rule now that if someone is concussed, they don't play. We used to believe concussion was a relatively insignificant condition but now all the evidence shows that we've got to take it much more seriously. Cricket is similar to the football codes in that we're adopting that more serious approach."
Offspinner Nathan Lyon said any decisions relating to concussion or blows to the head had been taken out of the players' hands last summer. "It's definitely unfortunate that's happened, the doc's made that call and the health and safety of each player is key, so hopefully Buck will find his feet soon and he'll be back before you know it," Lyon said. "We had a talk about it [concussion] last summer after Buck got hit [in Brisbane] and the doc simply made the rule that we don't have a say in it really, so it's up to the doc and our health and safety is the doc's main priority, so we're guided by him."
The decision meant Marsh is set to open alongside David Warner in Roseau, having made a polished hundred in that position against a WICB President's XI in Australia's only warm-up fixture, in North Sound.
It was the second time in the space of six months that Rogers had been hit on the head. He had suffered a blow to the back of the helmet while fielding at short leg during the Brisbane Test against India in December. After that knock, which took place only a matter of weeks after the death of Phillip Hughes, Rogers looked decidedly upset and admitted to briefly pondering his future. He has since said the West Indies and England tours will be his last.
Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @danbrettig