Victoria199 and 5 for 156 (Dean 64*, Maxwell 33, Copeland 4-26) lead New South Wales 171 (Patterson 43, Hughes 30, Fawad Ahmed 3-32) by 184 runs
Pucovski had to retire hurt after he was struck on the helmet attempting to duck a short ball from Blues quick bowler Sean Abbott in an incident that left players on both sides distressed.
After a short delay the game continued without incident and Pucovski was in good spirits post-play despite being replaced by Victoria's 12th man Dan Christian under Cricket Australia's concussion substitute rule.
Travis Dean played a steady hand on a day of uncertainty. He moved to 64 not out by stumps and guided the Bushrangers to a lead of 184 with five wickets in hand after Trent Copeland had taken four wickets to keep the Blues in the game.
Earlier, they had conceded a 28-run first innings lead after the Blues batsmen failed to capitalize on a number of starts against the Bushrangers well-balanced attack.
Alex Malcolm is a freelance writer based in Perth