Australia Test opener Will Pucovski may require surgery on his troublesome shoulder, which could rule him out of the remainder of the Australian domestic season.
Pucovski injured his right shoulder while fielding on his Test debut against India in Sydney in early January. He was subsequently ruled out of the fourth Test in Brisbane and has not played since.
The 23-year-old Pucovski had been selected to go to South Africa for Australia's Test tour, but following the postponement of that tour, he returned to training with the Victoria squad ahead of the recommencement of the Sheffield Shield and Marsh Cup.
But Pucovski did not appear comfortable after batting in the nets on Thursday, and Victoria coach Chris Rogers said the youngster would continue to seek medical advice as to whether he should play again this season.
"He had a net session yesterday, it looked quite sore," Rogers said. "It's definitely his decision, what he wants to do. It's his career, we've got to support that. And that's in conjunction with the Australia side as well so we'll support whatever he thinks. He will be getting a lot of advice from different people, so I think that will probably become a little bit clearer over the next week or two.
"It's hard when I think you're playing not at 100%. You start to think that's how you are going to play for the rest of your career. Particularly as the shoulder hasn't responded to rehab as well he would have liked it to have, so he is probably really considering that option of surgery. He will go and talk to the relevant people and we should hear what he has to say. That will include our medical staff as well."
There is some positive news for Victoria and Australian cricket with James Pattinson ready to return to first-class action after he was withdrawn from Australia's Test squad for the final two Tests against India because of a rib injury.
Pattinson was also selected for the postponed South Africa tour. He has played three consecutive 50-over club matches for Dandenong in Victoria Premier Cricket and is fully fit. But given Victoria's heavy upcoming schedule of Shield and Marsh Cup matches, he is unlikely to play every game.
"He wants to get out there, he is a natural competitor. He wants to be on the park as much as he can," Rogers said. "But if we look at the schedule and project the amount of overs they might bowl on average, I think we'll have to manage him and the other bowlers as well.
"We'll look to see when we can use him the best, but I wouldn't expect him to play every game. But we've got to try and find the right times. The good thing for us is he is ready to go. He probably just needs a bit more bowling under his belt, but we expect to get that pretty shortly.
"What was pleasing was there were reports that he actually did dial it up in the game on the weekend for Dandenong. He bowled with good pace and he was really happy with the way it came out."
Alex Malcolm is a freelance writer based in Melbourne