World Cup fears as sore elbow forces Smith home from Bangladesh
Amid a year of tumult, Steve Smith's immediate playing future and hope of returning in time for the World Cup is now in doubt because of a sore elbow which has forced him home from the Bangladesh Premier League.
The former Australian captain has been playing with the Comilla Victorians in the BPL but will miss at least their next two matches after a previous elbow problem flared.
His manager Warren Craig could not be contacted while NSW and Cricket Australia officials were in the dark amid fears he could face several months on the sidelines with an injury which threatens to derail Australia's bid for a quick fix when he and David Warner return from suspension.
CA said on Friday night Smith was due to land in Sydney overnight.
"He'll then be assessed and decisions will be made following that," a CA spokesman said, adding it was too early to suggest Smith would require surgery.
Smith's year-long ban from first-class and international cricket for his role in the ball-tampering scandal ends on March 28. He had been a chance to resume against Pakistan in a one-day series from late March but that is now in doubt. Should the injury require substantial rest, his hope of returning for the World Cup in England in May – and the ensuing Ashes series – could also be in jeopardy.
Steve Smith has an elbow injury.Credit:AAP
"He sent the report to Australian physicians who advised him to return home immediately."
Reports from Bangladesh suggest the injury could be medial epicondylitis, more commonly known as golfer's elbow.
Surgery is regarded as a last resort if rest and exercise fail.
According to the Healthline website, the surgery is "known as an open medial epicondylar release. During the procedure, a surgeon makes an incision in your forearm, cuts the tendon, removes the damaged tissues around the tendon, and then reattaches the tendon".
Smith has barely thrown a ball during training sessions in Bangladesh, a sign he has been trying to ease the stress on his elbow.
Smith has struggled in his two innings so far, making 16 and 0, with the Comilla Victorians having won once.
He will miss their clash against the Rajshahi Kings and Chittagong Vikings on January 11 and 13.
With his year-long ban nearing an end, Smith will be particularly keen to ensure there are no injury problems which prevent him from returning as soon as possible. The five-match one-day series against Pakistan is slated to be held in the United Arab Emirates.
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