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Ashes: Josh Hazlewood ‘not sure’ of his return in fourth Test

Hazlewood missed the second and third matches in Adelaide and Melbourne, due to the injury which was earlier believed to be a 'side strain.'

By: Reuters | Melbourne |
December 26, 2021 10:46:41 am
Josh Hazlewood, HazlewoodAustralia's Josh Hazlewood reacts after dismissing England's Joe Root during day one of the Ashes First Test. (Reuters)

Australia pacer Josh Hazlewood has a “slight tear” in his rib cage muscle and he is “not sure” if he would be available for the fourth Ashes Test starting at Sydney from January 5.

Hazlewood, who had taken three wickets in the opening Test against England, missed the second and third matches in Adelaide and Melbourne, due to the injury which was earlier believed to be a “side strain”.

“I’m still a little bit away, (this Test) is probably a week early,” Hazlewood told SEN.

“We’re still not sure, we’re going to take this week as it comes and likely have a bowl on Day 3 or Day 5, see how that goes and then build up from there.

“The workloads are still there from the first Test, but obviously I haven’t had a bowl in 10-12 days and we’ll see how it goes on Day 3.”

The 30-year-old said he will look to bowl at the nets on the third day of the Boxing day Test and will rely more on feel than on medical assessment.

“It’s probably more on feel this one, it’s a bit of an interesting one, it’s the intercostal in between the ribs, there’s a slight tear,” Hazlewood said.

“I’ve never had it before, I’ve had the normal oblique side strain, which is the common one, but we’re taking each day as it comes and we’ll make the decisions on basically how I feel.” Intercostal muscles are a group of intrinsic rib cage muscles.

Australia are leading the five-Test series 2-0.

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