Callum Ferguson, the Australian one-day batsman, will be out for up to a year after tests revealed he requires a reconstruction of the right knee he injured in the Champions Trophy final. Ferguson will have an operation on his anterior cruciate ligament in the next week and the best-case scenario is a six-month layoff, which rules him out of the home summer.
Ferguson, 24, hurt himself while fielding in the decider in South Africa and knew the injury was serious, but he had to wait until he got home for a full diagnosis. He learned of his fate on Saturday after seeing a specialist in Adelaide.
"It's not a shock, but that doesn't make it any less disappointing," Ferguson said in Adelaide. "As soon as it happened I felt a good, decent tear and heard it as well, so that wasn't a good sign, and the physio wasn't too confident either.
"I'm pretty sure it'll be nine to 12 months, nine months will leave me with a few months to get ready for the Shield season, and there'd be no point in rushing." Trefor James, Cricket Australia's doctor, said the recovery would take between six and 12 months.
"It's not something I was hoping to come home with, but I've had a pretty good 12 months," he said. "I've had lots of opportunities and I'm just glad it didn't happen 18 months ago. It'll be probably frustrating watching the Redbacks boys run around, but the timing's neither here nor there, there's plenty of cricket on around the world 12 months of the year."
While Ferguson's short-term international ambitions are over, he will also miss the opportunity to help South Australia's push for silverware. The Redbacks didn't expect Ferguson to spend much of the season with them due to his Australian duties and had already planned their batting order without him.
Their first chance of the summer comes in Tuesday's Sheffield Shield game against Tasmania at the Adelaide Oval. Showers are forecast during a cool week and the conditions led the Redbacks to cut Cullen Bailey, the legspinner, from their squad. Aaron O'Brien takes on the slow-bowling duties on what is expected to be a green surface.
South Australia squad Daniel Harris, James Smith, Michael Klinger, Tom Cooper, Mark Cosgrove, Aaron O'Brien, Graham Manou (capt, wk), Dan Christian, Mark Cleary, Jake Haberfield, Peter George, Chris Duval.