A dislocated shoulder may have shattered the World Cup dream of Jhye Richardson, Australia’s most promising young paceman.
Richardson landed awkwardly on his right arm while attempting to stop a ball in the deep during Australia’s second ODI against Pakistan in Sharjah.
The 22-year-old, who was fully expected to be part of Australia’s World Cup squad, appeared to do serious damage.
Recovery periods for a dislocated shoulder, the recurring injury that Chris Lynn has struggled to manage in recent years, vary greatly.
If Richardson requires surgery he will struggle to be fit in time for Australia’s World Cup opener against Afghanistan on June 1 in England.
But if the youngster is told to rest then he may yet be part of Australia’s World Cup defence.
Richardson’s discomfort was clear as team doctor Richard Saw and physio David Beakley rushed out to assess him.
The right-armer trudged off using his shirt to cradle his bowling arm.
Richardson was later spotted in the rooms with a brace, putting on a brave face after his shoulder was popped back into place.
Team management has confirmed Richardson, who snagged 2-16 from five overs on Sunday prior to the setback, will play no further part in the match.
Selectors could include Richardson in Australia’s 15-man World Cup squad, which will be picked in early April, then replace him closer to the tournament if needed.
Mitchell Starc (torn pec) and Josh Hazlewood (back) are already racing the clock to be fit for the 50-over showpiece, with the latter likely to run out of time.
Richardson has gone from strength to strength in recent months, impressing on Test debut in Brisbane then forming a potent new-ball pairing with Pat Cummins during the final stages of Australia’s recent 3-2 ODI series win in India.
Cummins, who was rested from the first two ODIs against Pakistan, is likely to take Richardson’s place in the side when the series continues in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday.
Kane Richardson and Jason Behrendorff are the other fast bowlers in Australia’s 15-man squad.