Australia fast bowler Jhye Richardson may still be fit for the World Cup after scans on his dislocated bowling shoulder cleared him of serious damage. Richardson dislocated his right shoulder diving in the field in Australia's second ODI against Pakistan in Sharjah on March 24.
Richardson was immediately flown home to Perth to have scans on Tuesday. Australia team doctor Richard Saw, who is in the UAE with the ODI side, liaised with the Western Australia's medical staff in Perth and confirmed the outcome from the scans was the best Richardson could hope for.
"The scans demonstrated the usual soft tissue damage we expect following a dislocation but fortunately has excluded any bone damage or fracture," Saw said. "We are hopeful that Jhye will not require surgery but he will see a shoulder specialist early next week for a further opinion.
"We will be able to provide an update in respect to next steps once we have all the information on the table."
Australia's opening World Cup match is on June 1 against Afghanistan in Bristol.
Richardson will need to be selected in the 15-man squad while still undergoing his shoulder rehabilitation, stabilising and strengthening if he is to play any part in the World Cup.
Australia also have Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood recovering from injuries in the build-up. Starc is recovering from a pec injury while Hazlewood is recovering from stress fractures in his back.
Richardson's WA and Australia team-mate Nathan Coulter-Nile suffered a similar right shoulder dislocation in a BBL game on December 21 in 2015. He was able to return to bowl in less than two months, bowling 12 overs in a club fixture on February 20, 2016, before bowling 23 overs in a Sheffield Shield fixture on February 25. He was then selected for a short T20 International series in South Africa and the T20 World Cup in March of 2016, playing six Internationals without an issue.
The Australian players not involved in the IPL will have a complete break in April following the series against Pakistan but will convene for a pre-World Cup camp in May in Brisbane which includes practice matches against New Zealand.
Alex Malcolm is a freelance writer based in Melbourne