Smith Facing Fitness Battle

Smith Facing Fitness Battle

Australian batsman Steve Smith has emerged as a doubt for the third Ashes Test after he was diagnosed with a concussion. Smith was struck on the neck by a short ball from England bowler Jofra Archer on the fourth day of the second Test at Lord’s and was sent back to the pavilion on the advice of the medical team.

The 30-year-old did return later in the innings, only to be trapped LBW by Chris Woakes for 92 as Australia were bowled out for 250, which gave England an eight-run first-innings lead. Smith, who has been a thorn in England’s side during the series so far, was absent from the field for the remaining play on Saturday before he was ruled out of the fifth and final day on Sunday due to a concussion.

Related: Waugh – Smith Still Adjusting

With the third Test at Headingley getting underway on Thursday, the former captain is facing a race against time to be passed fit. Cricket Australia released a statement confirming the news, saying: “Steve Smith has been closely monitored by medical staff overnight. He slept well but woke up with a bit of a headache and feeling of grogginess.

He reported his left arm is much better. “As part of the Cricket Australia concussion protocol, repeat testing was performed this morning and demonstrated some deterioration, which is consistent with the emergence of the symptoms he was reporting. “On that basis, he has been withdrawn from the match.

The Australian team will lodge an application for the concussion substitute with the match referee. “In terms of his availability for the next Test, it will be considered over the coming days but the short turnaround is not in his favour. He will be assessed on an ongoing basis and will have a precautionary scan on his neck on Sunday.”

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