Shepparton News

Rogers backs Pucovski to bounce back


Victorian coach Chris Rogers would have Will Pucovski back in the Test side as soon as he proves he has put his latest concussion scare behind him.

The opener aims to return to cricket early next month as the emerging Australian Test batsman recovers from the 10th concussion of his career.

Rogers said the 23-yearold planned to return for their first home Sheffield Shield match from November 5-8 against NSW.

While at pains to note he has no read on what the national selectors are thinking in regards to Pucovski, Rogers said the batsman should be fast-tracked back into the Test team once he is back to full health.

‘‘Obviously the first thing you want to see is him playing well and (being) comfortabl­e out in the middle, particular­ly playing the short ball, there’s no worries in terms of that,’’ Rogers said.

‘‘How many games they want to see that in, I can’t tell you that.

‘‘He’s one of those players, there’s just an element of class about him.

‘‘If he went out and (got) a big score, I definitely would pick him, yeah.’’

Pucovski was not at Victoria training yesterday morning and will stay at home when the team starts its Shield season from October 27-30 against NSW in Sydney.

‘‘It’s just probably come a touch too early,’’ Rogers said of their Shield opener.

‘‘He’s been in the last few days and he looks pretty good, so he’s targeting the second Shield game. ‘‘He’s been through this before, so he knows what it’s like and he’ll be ready to go.

‘‘He’s a pretty resilient guy now — if you go through (this) many setbacks, you have to have something about you.’’

While Pucovski’s concussion puts him in doubt for the first Ashes Test from December 8 at the Gabba, Rogers backed the opener to make a late selection claim.

‘‘He’s showed before that he can hit the ground running as he did last year in the two Sheffield Shield games when he got two 200s,’’ Rogers said.

Pucovski’s latest setback came earlier this month when he was hit in the head while batting at training.

Injuries have restricted him to one Test and Australian captain Tim Paine said he was ‘‘shattered’’ by last week’s news.

While Rogers is upbeat about how Pucovski is coping, he was more circumspec­t when asked how many head knocks might be too many.

‘‘That’s a good question, nothing I can really answer,’’ he said.

‘‘He sees specialist­s, so they’ll be talking to him about that and obviously that’s got to play a role at some stage.

‘‘But at the moment, he’s still keen to continue on.’’

 ?? Picture: AAP ?? Recovering: Will Pucovski is on track to return for Victoria following another concussion.
Picture: AAP Recovering: Will Pucovski is on track to return for Victoria following another concussion.

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