Stuart MacGill says he will definitely be available for Australia's Test tour of Pakistan but he is not ready for a first-class return in New South Wales' next Pura Cup match. On Sunday MacGill played his first game, a club outing, since having surgery for carpal-tunnel syndrome on his bowling hand in December.
He sent down 12 overs and finished with 1 for 39 and although the results satisfied him, he said lining up for the Blues against Victoria in a match starting this Friday would be a stretch. "I'd love to play against the Vics," MacGill told the Daily Telegraph, "but I think bowling ten overs is a whole lot different to bowling 30 and maybe 30 again the next day.
"I don't think I'm ready for that and I don't want to be fooled by an encouraging day. The most important thing for me is not to let anybody down when I do get back on the field."
MacGill said he was extremely tense before taking the ball for Sydney University, as he had only bowled about 15 balls in the nets since his operation. "The nerves were 100 times worse than my first Test," he said. "I was very, very nervous to the point of considering not bowling."
However, he believes he will have no fitness concerns by the time of the Pakistan visit, which is scheduled for late March. There is still doubt over the future of the trip but if it goes ahead MacGill is likely to be picked along with Brad Hogg and perhaps a younger spinner.
"After today I'll definitely be fit for the tour of Pakistan, definitely," MacGill said. "I bowled all of my variations and I bowled at least one good one of all of them. So they're all there and there were no side-effects. Everything I had before my surgery I have now, it's just I've got to make sure I bowl a few more goodies in a row."