Pattinson threatened by back injury, again

Australia

Australia fast bowler James Pattinson faces yet another period of uncertainty after his lower back injury was confirmed as a stress fracture, just a few months after coming back from a side injury.

Australia fast bowler James Pattinson faces yet another period of uncertainty after his lower back injury was confirmed as a stress fracture, just a few months after coming back from a side injury.

Pattinson missed a lot of action in 2013, but made a good comeback in South Africa earlier this year. But since that Test in March, he has not played again, after 'soreness' in his lower back was deemed more serious.

Australia's new assistant coach Craig McDermott, who was the bowling coach until recently, says they will not be rushing Patto back to the middle, and cannot give a time frame for the paceman's return.

McDermott said: "With Patto it'll depend how he heals, first and foremost. That's got to improve from a clinical point of view before we get to the path we'll go down with his technical side of it.

"The timeline on that hasn't even been determined yet, so we'll just see how he progresses over the next few months. I want to make sure we take our time and get it right.

"He's obviously having some sort of trouble with his skeletal make up that's not coping at his age. He's almost at the age where you'd think he's not going to get too many more problems, but everyone's different.

"Patto does bowl fast, he's not a 130kph bowler, so we've got to make sure we get him right and take our time to bring him back nice and slowly."

McDermott went on to explain his preferred strategy, and will look to keep Pattinson out of the frenetic T20 arena, given it's not made for measured, rhythmic bowling, and will likely do more harm than good.

He said: "There's been some discussion about bringing him back through club cricket and formats where he can settle into a rhythm. T20 cricket is always difficult to bring blokes back through, because they're under the pump, bowling different balls all the time.

"It's a yorker, then a slower-ball bouncer, then a good-length ball or a wide yorker. And if they're getting whacked by the batsmen they're not going to bowl at 80% and build things up gradually.

"It's not in their make-up, and it's certainly not in Patto's make-up because he's such a competitor."

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