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Will Pucovski's immediate and perhaps long-term future is in doubt after he was subbed out of Victoria's Sheffield Shield clash against South Australia on the final morning after suffering another concussion.
Pucovski, who was making his comeback having had a previous concussion before the Sheffield Shield season began, briefly came onto the field at the start of the day but soon left and did not open the batting. He was later replaced in the side by Travis Dean. He suffered the blow in the warm-ups before play began when he accidentally kicked a volleyball up into his head during Victoria's soccer/volleyball game. He did continue the warm-up before symptoms began to set in and he later left the ground to return to Melbourne while the fourth day's play was still going.
"I think it's a really delicate situation with his history and everything he has gone through," Victoria coach Chris Rogers said after the match. "He received a knock this morning and from there he started to feel the symptoms of concussion. He came in and spoke to the physio and then the doctor got involved. It's going to be a really important little period for Will so as a state and a side we'll support him throughout this and see how that plays out
"He wanted to see if he could go out and have a hit in the nets, but the symptoms were there and in the end he spoke to the doctor and we felt that it [batting] probably wasn't worth it, and from there it was a case of what do we need to do for him."
He had made a fifty on the second day of the game in a century opening stand with Marcus Harris.
It is the 11th concussion Pucovski has suffered in a career that has been beset by setbacks. He made his Test debut against India last January where he scored a half-century before injuring his shoulder which then required surgery and the recovery from which has continued to restrict him in the field.
The debut itself was delayed after he was struck in the head by India's Kartik Tyagi while batting for Australia A prior to the start of the series.
Pucovski suffered his first concussion when playing Australian Rules Football at school. Then on his first-class debut in 2017 he was hit on the head in the field and could not bat in the second innings. He also suffered one when running between the wickets and being hit by a ball from an adjacent net.
He has also had to manage his mental health which included withdrawing from the Test squad to face Sri Lanka in 2019 and taking a break from the game the following season.
Last month, Pucovski spoke of his latest recovery which had come after a blow at training in October.
"It probably took five or six weeks before I got back on track," he said. "The first couple of weeks were pretty hard, I was trying to go for walks and feeling pretty sick even walking around the block. It wasn't ideal, and they're probably the times where you're really struggling.
"You definitely do have days, especially post-injury, where you're thinking how much of a nightmare it is and how much it sucks and how bad you feel. But I think that's just a normal part of life, everyone would go through those days.
"There's always been a plan, which always helps me, and as you do start taking those steps towards recovery, those times become less and less, and you get super excited about being back."