Behrendorff opts for same lower spine surgery as Pattinson

Left-arm quick will head to New Zealand soon to have surgery to fix ongoing back issues and will miss the whole season

Alex Malcolm
Jason Behrendorff impressed after coming into Australia's World Cup side  •  Getty Images

Jason Behrendorff impressed after coming into Australia's World Cup side  •  Getty Images

Australia fast bowler Jason Behrendorff has confirmed he will undergo the same lower spine surgery as James Pattinson in order to solve his ongoing back issues and help prolong his career.
Behrendorff, 29, met with New Zealand-based surgeon Rowan Schouten in Sydney last week for an initial consultation and has been given the green light to undergo the procedure.
He will head to New Zealand with his family to have the surgery in the coming weeks. He will now miss the entire domestic summer and is also in severe doubt to be ready for next year's T20 World Cup in October, but the timing of the surgery has been designed to give him every chance to be fit.
"Unfortunately, I've had the same injury over the last few years and we've tried a number of things and the injury continues to return," Behrendorff said. "After a lot of thought and discussion we've decided that surgery is the best opportunity to find a more permanent fix.
"I'm feeling good about the surgery, I've spoken to a number of Aussie and Kiwi bowlers who've had a similar surgery and they were all very positive about the results.
"This particular procedure has had good success rates in other professional pace bowlers with similar reoccurring issues."
ESPNcricinfo revealed recently that Behrendorff, in conjunction with the Western Australia and Cricket Australia medical staff, was exploring the option of back surgery after scans recently uncovered a return of the stress fractures that have plagued him in the past.
Behrendorff had conversations with Pattinson and Shane Bond about the surgery and their experiences recovering from it. He also spoke with Sydney Sixers fast bowler Ben Dwarshuis who underwent the procedure earlier this year and is already back bowling.
The surgery involves fusing screws and a titanium cable into the lower spine to stabilise the stress fracture which is not healing conventionally. Christchurch-based surgeon Grahame Inglis has been the leader in the field and performed the surgery on both Bond and Pattinson. Schouten has worked with Inglis and performed Dwarshuis' surgery this year. The WACA's long-time head physio Nick Jones also did extensive research on the surgery and the recovery process and will be a key figure during Behrendorff's rehab.
The procedure was a huge success for both Pattinson and Bond and has also helped Matt Henry and Corey Anderson. Pattinson returned to Test cricket this year after going under the knife in late 2017, while Bond, who had the surgery when he was 30 years old, played six more years of top-level cricket.
The rough estimated recovery time is between nine and 12 months but it is far from exact. Pattinson took 12 months to return to first-class cricket and it was another 22 months before he played Test cricket, although he had been out of the Australian set-up for 18 months prior to the surgery due to his injury issues.
Dwarshuis played in the BBL semi-final on February 15 earlier this year before having the surgery. He bowled four overs for the first time in a match in Sydney grade cricket on October 5.
ESPNcricinfo understands that this specific type of surgery has been performed on 18 patients over the course of nearly two decades by Inglis and Schouten and has a 100% success rate in terms of returning to full fitness.
The surgery could pave the way for Behrendorff to return to all three forms of the game. He has been a white-ball bowler only in the last two years due to his ongoing issues. He has not played a first-class game since November 2017 but has an excellent first-class record.

Alex Malcolm is a freelance writer based in Melbourne