Cricket Victoria general manager Shaun Graf has given a big update on the health of Will Pucovski, declaring he will be fit for the upcoming Ashes.
Pucovski was struck in the helmet by a ball in a net session for Victoria last week, with Australia skipper Tim Paine describing the setback as “not ideal”.
The 23-year-old has been concussed up to 10 times already in his young career, prompting concerns he may be better missing the Ashes series to focus on recovering.
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Michael Clarke put Travis Head, Usman Khawaja and Marcus Harris as three options to replace Pucovski should he be ruled out.
Graf though told SEN Radio’s Dwayne’s Worldthat Pucovski is “fine” and that Cricket Victoria is “very hopeful” he will be back at training in the “next week or so”.
“He was in here today, he’s fine,” Graf said.
“It wasn’t a major concussion of any sort but he did get a hit, so the protocols were put in place and they do show that he has a slight concussion.
“He feels good in himself, he had some headaches but that seems to have dissipated by now.
“We’re very hopeful by next week or so that he’ll be back at training and away we go.”
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Pucovski was on track to make his Test debut in the series opener against India last summer but was ruled out of the opening two matches after suffering a concussion while playing for Australia A.
Graf though believes this is “definitely not a major setback” for Pucovski but said they will take a “more conservative approach” to his recovery.
“When he does cop a knock, he had a different reaction to a lot of other people because of the amount of concussions he’s had,” he said.
“So, we’re taking a more conservative approach to make sure everything is alright, the last thing we want to expose him as we lead into the season.”
“I think he’ll be fine, we’re very hopeful that he’ll still be available for Victoria’s first game, which could be before the end of the month.
“It’s a wait and see, obviously we’re guided by medical opinion, but certainly from our discussions and the way our medical staff feel is that he should be hopefully available.
“And if he is available, he can hopefully put a big score on the board and force his way into the side.”
Pucovski has been averaging 53.41 in first-class cricket and is widely considered one of Australia’s brightest young prospects.
Speaking on SEN Radio on Friday, skipper Paine dismissed claims Pucovski’s batting technique could be to blame for his concussions.
“He’s a good player of the short ball, you don’t average 54 or so in first-class cricket if you can’t play the short ball,” Paine said.
“I just think he’s had a really bad concussion as a kid. I think he’s now more susceptible than other people. He doesn’t need to be hit as hard on his head.”