TELFORD VICE, Hobart
AUSTRALIA’S hopes of levelling the test series against South Africa were dented on Tuesday when seasoned fast bowler Peter Siddle was ruled out with a back injury.
That probably means Joe Mennie will make his debut in the second test in Hobart on Saturday.
Siddle was part of the team that were beaten by 177 in the first test at the WACA on Monday, his first test since recovering from a stress fracture of the back he was diagnosed with in February.
“Whilst we expect bowlers to be sore after test matches this was slightly worse than we expected, and given that he was returning from a significant back injury we organised some scans today,” Australian team physiotherapist David Beakley was quoted as saying in a statement.
“The scans demonstrated some low grade bone oedema around his old stress fracture that is likely to be a flare up of his previous lower back injury.
“We are hopeful that this will resolve relatively quickly but have withdrawn him from the squad for the second test match in Hobart.
“We will monitor his recovery and have a better idea of when he will return to play in the next week or so.”
Mennie, 27, was hit for 82 runs in 10 overs on his one-day debut in South Africa last month.
He made amends in his next match of that series, taking 3/49.
At the WACA, Siddle was not the force he was in the six tests he played against South Africa in 2008-09, when he took 25 wickets at 25.04.
But his 62 caps made him the most experienced member of Australia’s seam attack.