MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Australia captain Steven Smith has been carrying a knee injury since the tour of England and may take some time off from cricket before hosting New Zealand.
Smith smashed a match-winning century on Friday for New South Wales in Australia’s domestic one-day tournament, booking the state side a place in the final, but revealed he was plagued by soreness in his right knee throughout the innings.
“I had a bit of pain in England but it wasn’t anything serious, just a little bit in the back of my knee,” he said in quotes published by Cricket Australia’s website (cricket.com.au).
“I’ve been able to play with it without much pain. The more my innings goes it loosens up and feels a lot better.
“Today it didn’t do that. I don’t know whether it was because the ground was a little bit heavier or something like that.
“But it seemed to stay quite sore the whole way through my innings.
“I’ll see the physio this evening and tomorrow morning and see how we go with Sunday. We’ve got a week until the final see we’ll see how we go.”
Smith will hope for a good prognosis as the first test of the home summer against New Zealand is less than three weeks away.
Australia host their Tasman Sea neighbours in Brisbane from Nov. 5, followed by tests in Perth and Adelaide.
An injury cloud also hangs over vice captain and opening batsman David Warner, who has had a long spell on the sidelines with a broken thumb sustained in England.
Warner hopes to prove his fitness for the New Zealand series with some domestic Sheffield Shield cricket for New South Wales against South Australia starting Oct. 28.
“I had an X-ray this morning and got some good news,” Warner told host broadcaster Channel Nine on Friday.
“The break has started to come together and I’m going to have a little light hit on Tuesday morning with just some underarm throws and stuff and then get into it on Thursday, Friday.
“I will just manage it as well as I can, I’ll probably face bowlers the day before we leave for (the Shield match in) Adelaide.
“Just so I don’t have the recurrence of being hit by one of the bowlers on that thumb.
“But there’s a very, very realistic chance I’m going to be playing in that Shield match and positive signs.”
(Reporting by Ian Ransom, Editing by Peter Rutherford)