Just a couple of days ahead of the Ashes-opener at the Gabba, Australia have suffered a huge injury scare, as one of their batting mainstays and vice-captain David Warner has hurt his neck during a fielding drill.
The aggressive opening batsman twinged his neck while taking a high catch on the Gabba outfield and left training immediately to receive treatment from team physiotherapist David Beakley. He shortly gave an update on what happened and insisted he would recover from the stiff neck in time to open the innings in Brisbane.
“My neck is quite stiff,” Warner later told reporters. “I took a high ball, and something just twinged in my neck. I haven’t really had a stiff neck like this one before.”
The 31-year old further increased the hosts’ apprehensions by stating that he would face an intense treatment period ahead of the much-awaited series-opener against Joe Root & Co.
“I don’t think a sore neck is going to keep me out. I’m getting a bit of physio treatment at the moment, and hopefully it will settle down in the next 24 to 48 hours,” Warner said.
“I’ll try and have a hit tomorrow at some stage; I have to work on my technique a little bit more, probably facing up,” he added. “I’ll get some more treatment tonight, get some heat packs, get some fingers into it and hopefully it’s better tomorrow.”
Australia team-management would have heaved a sigh of relief when the southpaw arrived in the nets area and padded up to face some deliveries.
However, the joy was very short-lived, as he left the area facing just two throwdowns from batting coach Graeme Hick before speaking to team doctor Richard Saw.
He later explained that he did not want to bat because of an “alignment” issue.
“It was more of alignment thing; I couldn’t align myself face-on with Hickey,” Warner said.
“If I can’t be face on, there was no point in hitting because I can’t angle myself,” he added. “That’s not how I want to train.”
Warner, who has been backed by many to play a decisive role in the five-Test series, will be opening the innings with uncapped Cameron Bancroft. However, in case Warner, who averages close to 60 in his country, fails to recover in time then young opener Matt Renshaw can get a recall.
Video of the day: