CA won't rush Harris or Pattinson recoveries

Australia

Australia team physio Alex Kountouris has cautioned against expecting fast bowler Ryan Harris back on the park any time soon, while giving an update on James Pattinson's lower back injury.

Australia team physio Alex Kountouris has cautioned against expecting fast bowler Ryan Harris back on the park any time soon, while giving an update on James Pattinson's lower back injury.

Pattinson's stress fracture had been a problem before, and after the tour to South Africa it was discovered again, much to the team's disappointment, especially after they took every precaution to prevent it flaring up again.

A disappointed Kountouris told <i>cricket.com.au</i>: "James came back from South Africa with some back stiffness.

"We weren't overly concerned to start with but because the back stiffness hung around for a while we decided to investigate it, and our investigation showed he's got a flare up of his old (back) stress fracture that he had last year, which is disappointing.

"It's not one particular thing (that's caused it). They're stress injuries; they take time to accumulate.

"We managed it the first time around reasonably conservatively – he didn't bowl for four months, which is the top end of what we do with resting them from bowling, and he came back pretty gradually through some BBL and some one-day cricket.

"We thought it was a reasonably good program, but for some reason it's flared up again. We need to just address it and look at other things we can do to help make sure it doesn't come back again."

As for Harris, who underwent knee surgery after the tour to South Africa, where he bowled through the pain, Kountouris said they were not predicting anything, and were happy to have him miss games as long as he recovered correctly.

The physio added: "He's going slow, but it's as expected. We're not pushing him any harder or slower. We've set no date; when he's right to play cricket, he'll start playing cricket.

"We're seeing the specialist again in about a month's time, which will be three months post-surgery, and that'll be an important meeting to decide where he goes, but we're expecting a slow recovery and it's going as planned at the moment.

"Guys who have got serious injuries like these two have got the time to come back gradually and not miss any cricket during this period, and they'll still have time to do a pre-season.

"If it means missing a few games – Australia's tours of Zimbabwe or tour of the UAE – then we're happy to accept that at this stage for the long-term benefits."

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