Steve Smith expected to recover fully from concussion within a week, to be fit for Pakistan tour

By PTI

SYDNEY: Senior Australia batter Steve Smith is expected to make a full recovery within a week from his latest concussion episode and be available for the tour of Pakistan next month.

Smith, who has a history of concussions, hit his head hard on the SCG turf in an audacious leaping attempt to stop a six near boundary rope in the second T20I against Sri Lanka which Australia won in Super Over on Sunday.

His concussion diagnosis was confirmed late on Sunday and Cricket Australia (CA) said the 32-year-old will be subject to “low-level protocols” over the coming days before an anticipated recovery within the week.

“(Smith) will be subject to low-level protocols for the next few days and full recovery in 6-7 days,” the CA said in a statement.

The star right-handed batter has already been ruled out of the remaining three matches of the ongoing T20I series against Sri Lanka.

CA has not named any replacement for Smith in the Australian squad.

There is enough time for Smith to recover for the Pakistan tour which begins with a Test on March 4.

There was considerable concern when Smith fell near the boundary line after his spectacular but unsuccessful fielding effort as Pat Cummins and Glenn Maxwell urgently gestured for medical attention.

Smith was back on his feet not long after and enquired as to whether umpires had called for a six or not.

He was seen walking around the dressing and talking with teammates after Australia held on for victory following a dramatic Super Over finish.

“Thanks everyone for reaching out. My head has felt better but I will be ok,” Smith tweeted later.

The latest scare is not the first time Smith has been concussed.

It was his third concussion in two-and-a-half years.

He was famously subbed out of an Ashes Test at Lord’s against England in 2019 — the first-ever such case — after being felled by a Jofra Archer delivery.

Smith also sat out a white ball series in England in 2020 after being struck while batting in the Old Trafford practice nets.

He also revealed last summer that he nearly missed an ODI against India in which he made a match-winning century after suffering from vertigo and vomiting due to the formation of small crystals known as ‘ear rocks’.

“It didn’t look great,” Smith’s team-mate Matthew Wade told ‘cricket.com.au’.

“I think he hit the ground pretty hard. Whether he went lights out or not, I’m not 100 per cent sure. That’s something only he can answer.”

Pacer Josh Hazlewood said: “When anyone dives and doesn’t get up straight away, there’s always a bit of concern. It’s good to see him walking around now and make his way off the field.”

The incident involving Smith came a day after Will Pucovski suffered the latest in a string of concussions during a warm-up mishap in Victoria’s Marsh Sheffield Shield clash with South Australian in Adelaide.

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