Jhye Richardson is struggling with a shoulder injury. (AAP Image/Michael Dodge)
Jhye Richardson is struggling with a shoulder injury. (AAP Image/Michael Dodge)

How Pat, Patto serve as great examples for Project Jhye

Slow-fused success stories with Pat Cummins and James Pattinson has prompted Australia to take another six-figure gamble on the latest fast bowling star to undergo serious surgery.

 

News Corp Australia can reveal gun quick Jhye Richardson had shoulder stabilisation surgery 10 days ago, putting his Twenty20 World Cup hopes in jeopardy.

 

Richardson has had constant issues with his shoulder continuing to pop out since he suffered a devastating dislocation 12 months ago which robbed him of certain World Cup and Ashes selection.

 

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Richardson’s recovery will be carefully managed. Photo: AAP Image/Richard Wainwright
Richardson’s recovery will be carefully managed. Photo: AAP Image/Richard Wainwright

Medical staff are hopeful Richardson will be back playing later in the year, but shoulder surgery is serious business for any fast bowler.

 

However, the fact selectors handed Richardson a lucrative top 20 contract just days after he went under the knife shows the rapid 23-year-old capable of 145km/h speeds is Australia's latest project player after years of backing Cummins and Pattinson through career-threatening injury.

 

"The surgery (will hopefully stop the shoulder dislocating). All the ligaments become loose when you do dislocate and then the surgery essentially involves tightening things up," said CA head of medical, Alex Kountouris.

 

"A lot of other players have had that in the past. We're hoping that will fix the problem.

"It was nasty (the original injury). He dived with a lot of force on his arm. It was something that was quite bad. It's probably not surprising he's had ongoing symptoms and not surprising in general for cricketers because they do need their shoulders to be fairly mobile."

CA’s plan worked for Pat Cummins. Photo: Phil Hillyard
CA’s plan worked for Pat Cummins. Photo: Phil Hillyard

Cummins and Pattinson were repeatedly kept on central contracts during years where they were rehabilitating long-term injuries, and the faith of selectors has paid dividends - particularly for Cummins who is now the No.1 player in Australia and arguably the best bowler in the world.

 

Richardson has only played one match for Australia - a recent dead-rubber 50-over game against South Africa - since the ugly fielding incident he suffered against Pakistan in the UAE just over a year ago, yet has been given the security and support of a lucrative contract.

 

The West Australian was one of the sharpest boundary fielders in the country, but has struggled to throw since returning.

 

Richardson was part of Australia's most recent Twenty20 squad and is well in contention for World Cup selection - however, he now faces a race against time should the tournament go ahead as scheduled in October.

 

 

Richardson can be a huge weapon if fit. Photo: Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images
Richardson can be a huge weapon if fit. Photo: Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images

"It's a lengthy surgery but it does give him an opportunity now that we're not going to play until … September, October, November or December … he's obviously a chance with that," said Kountouris.

 

" … We want (cricketers shoulders) to be stable, so a stable socket, but at the same time we want them to be mobile so they can throw and bowl. It's a fine balance … it's an opportunistic time to do it."

 

Kountouris said CA's return to training would be shaped by Government guidelines around the country, but it would appear signs are looking good for players to be starting their pre-seasons in early June.

Originally published as How Pat, Patto serve as great examples for Project Jhye


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