(Reuters) – Australia bowling coach Craig McDermott has said he will not rush the return of injury-prone fast bowler James Pattinson and also raised questions about the cricketer’s future in the Twenty20 format.
Since his impressive debut test three years ago, the 24-year-old has suffered recurring back problems and has been forced to miss a number of matches for Australia.
He returned to the test side for the decisive match in Australia’s 2-1 win in South Africa after a gap of more than seven months but broke down again with a sore back.
Former Australia paceman McDermott, who has signed a new two-year deal as the team’s bowling coach, said they have to be patient with the quick’s return to top-level cricket.
“With Patto, it’ll depend how he heals first and foremost,” McDermott was quoted as saying on Cricket Australia’s website. “That’s got to improve from a clinical point of view before we get to the path we’ll go down with his technical side of it.
“The timeline on that hasn’t even been determined yet, so we’ll just see how he progresses over the next few months. I want to make sure we take our time and get it right.”
The talented Pattinson has played 13 tests, taking 51 wickets since making his debut against New Zealand in Brisbane in December, 2011.
According to McDermott, Twenty20 cricket is not the ideal format for Pattinson to work his way back to full fitness.
“T20 cricket is always difficult to bring blokes back through, because they’re under the pump, bowling different balls all the time,” said McDermott, who has been credited with turning Australia’s pace attack into one of the most potent in the world.
“It’s a yorker, then a slower-ball bouncer, then a good-length ball or a wide yorker. And if they’re getting whacked by the batsmen they’re not going to bowl at 80 percent and build things up gradually.”
Experienced paceman Ryan Harris, who underwent knee surgery after Australia’s series win in South Africa, is unlikely to be fit for the series against Pakistan in Dubai in October.
The 34-year-old has suffered a series of injuries throughout his career but played a key role in Australia’s 5-0 Ashes sweep of England over the New Year and the series triumph against the top-ranked Proteas.
“He’s definitely touch and go for Dubai, we’ve just got to see how his knee goes over the next few months,” McDermott added.
“We’ve just got to monitor him to see how his knee’s coping with his rehabilitation, and see if it’s possible to get him up for there.
“I don’t think there’s any point rushing Ryano either, we’ve got a lot of cricket with India, World Cup, West Indies and the Ashes, we’ve got to make sure he’s 100 per cent when he comes back.”