“It’s not how, it’s how many.”
Australia’s Test squad has been rocked by another concussion after Cameron Green was substituted out of the tour match at the SCG, having been struck in his follow-through during a frightening incident.
Uncapped young guns Green and Will Pucovski were both in line to make their Test debut on Thursday, when the much-anticipated series between Australia and India starts in Adelaide.
But Green has now had a major injury scare, just three days after Pucovski suffered a concussion when hit on the helmet by a bouncer in a tour game.
The first delivery of Green’s seventh over for Australia A was smashed back at him by India tail-ender Jasprit Bumrah on Friday.
Green, who has been cleared of fractures, appeared to be hit on the temple after trying to get his hands to the ball.
The 21-year-old all-rounder wasn’t knocked out and got to his feet approximately 30 seconds after the thunderous blow.
Green was smiling and looked in good spirits when he walked off the field for further assessment.
But officials confirmed during the evening session that Green had been subbed out of the game, with 19-year-old Patrick Rowe taking his place in the hosts’ XI.
“Cameron sustained a mild concussion,” team doctor Pip Inge said in a statement.
“This is Cameron’s first concussion. He has returned to the team hotel and will not play the remaining two days.
“We will continue to monitor him.”
Pucovski is yet to be ruled out of the series opener but is considered an unlikely starter, especially given his history of multiple concussions.
Green will also struggle to prove his fitness for the first Test given the nature of Cricket Australia’s concussion protocols, which dictate a gradual return to activity.
Australia A coach Matthew Mott admitted it was poor luck and timing for the West Australian.
“It was a freakish accident,” Mott told Fox Sports.
“He was bowling well… it’s really disappointing for him.”
The youngster had made a near-irresistible case for Test selection in recent weeks, including a knock of 125 not out against India earlier this week.
Former captain and selector Allan Border was among many pundits calling for Green’s eye-catching form to be rewarded with a baggy green.
National selectors Trevor Hohns and George Bailey had a long discussion with Australia A coach Matthew Mott on the sidelines during Friday’s dinner break.
The sheer force of the impact – and the fact Green was hit on the head – prompted plenty of concern from teammates, umpires and both batsmen.
Mohammed Siraj, who was stationed at the non-striker’s end, dropped his bat and rushed over to the felled bowler.
Umpire Gerard Abood immediately called for medical assistance as Dr Inge rushed onto the park.