Australia’s Test skipper Tim Paine said on Friday that he had his first “decent” training session in months on Thursday and though he had “pulled up a bit sore” he would be ready when the Ashes series commences at The Gabba on December 8.
Paine had undergone an invasive neck surgery in mid-September to set right a bulging disc that had been causing discomfort to the wicketkeeper-batsman in his left arm and neck. The bulging disc was pressing on the nerve canal, causing pain on the left side of the body.
“I had a decent keep (wicket-keeping) yesterday, (I went) pretty good. I had a bit of a dive around yesterday, so I’m a little bit stiff,” said Paine to SEN Hobart on Friday.
“I was going to have a catch with the great Tim Coyle, the former Tasmanian coach coming down with the Greater Northern Raiders, so I was going to have a catch with him but I had to pull the pin on that just to give myself a bit of time to rest up, I don’t want to be doing too much back to back days.”
However, Paine said that there was nothing to worry about and his rehabilitation was progressing in the right direction.
“It’s nothing to worry about, just a bit of stiffness after a few months off. I’ve pulled up a bit sore, but yesterday was as I would train normally, so it’s a really good sign that I got through that and I’m looking forward to playing a game of cricket in the coming weeks.”
It is a race against time for Paine to be fit for the gruelling Ashes as he has missed training for more than three months due to the surgery. The skipper is hopeful he would be able to squeeze in two games of cricket before the Ashes.
“I’d love to get a club game in, followed by either a second XI game or a Shield game, just depending on the dates of those games and just depending on how I pulled up from the club game,” Paine said.
“There’s talk of us having an intra-squad game like we did last Ashes over in England, so potentially I’m getting two, three or four games of cricket in before that first Test.”