Australia seamer Josh Hazlewood, who was pulled from the second Test against West Indies in the eleventh hour, is now reportedly a doubt for the three-Test series against South Africa starting December 17 after picking up a side strain.
‘Soreness’ was the reason Hazlewood was withdrawn from the Adelaide Test against the Windies, but according to a report from ESPN Cricinfo, ‘further investigation revealed a side strain’, thereby putting in doubt the speedster’s participation in the South Africa Tests. Hazlewood is expected to return to Sydney on Friday for rehabilitation.
"I feel for Joshy, he's pretty understandably flat," Cummins told Channel 7, reported ESPN Cricinfo.
"It's a low-level strain in his side. He was a little bit sore after the last Test match, had a bowl in the nets yesterday to prove his fitness and was a bit sorer than we'd all hoped."
Hazlewood’s spot in the starting XI in Adelaide has been taken by Michael Neser, and there’s a good chance the Queenslander will continue to remain an integral part of Australia’s plans for the South Africa Tests, should Hazlewood not recover in time.
Scott Boland - who is also in Australia’s XI for the Adelaide Test - is ahead of Neser in the pecking order, but the need to rest and rotate could see Neser possibly feature in more Tests this summer.
Hazlewood’s injury comes as a body blow to both Australia and the New South Welshman himself. Last year, the 31-year-old missed four of the five Ashes Tests after picking up a side strain in the first Test at the Gabba. Hazlewood was also left out of the majority of the Pakistan Tests and the two-Test series against Sri Lanka owing to team combination.
The Kangaroos are yet to announce their squad for the series against the Proteas.