Pune: Rising Pune Supergiants' injury woes refuses to die down as Australian captain Steven Smith became their latest casualty when he was ruled ruled out of the remainder of the ongoing Indian Premier League today because of a wrist problem.
The Supergiants had earlier lost Kevin Pietersen, Faf du Plessis and Australia all-rounder Mitchell Marsh to injuries. Smith's pull out was confirmed by Cricket Australia Sports Science and Sports Medicine Manager Alex Kountouris, who said the right-handed batsman had been struggling with pain in his right wrist for the last week.
Steve Smith. Pic/ AFP
"We have been working with his IPL franchise Pune to monitor this and unfortunately it has not resolved," Kountouris said in a statement from Australia. "As such, he will return home from India for further assessment and treatment ahead of the tour of the West Indies."
The CA medical official stressed that the pull out decision was taken as a precautionary measure and the injury did not appear to be serious.
"From the information we have so far, this doesn't appear to be a serious injury but we are keen to give him the time to recover and rehabilitate before heading to the West Indies at the end of May," Kountouris said.
Australia begin the tri-series in Guyana on June 6 against South Africa before facing West Indies four days later at the same venue.
In the absence of Pietersen and Du Plessis, Smith, who didn't miss a single match for his IPL franchise so far because of the injury, was the mainstay of the Supergiants batting and also scored his maiden T20 century too. Smith's pull out comes a day after Australian all-rounder Mitchell Marsh was ruled out of the rest of the IPL with a side strain.
The Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led Supergiants are currently languishing in the bottom third of the points table with just two wins.
With injuries plaguing their foreign recruits, the Pune outfit is now desperate to get Australia batsman Usman Khawaja into the country. Khawaja was roped in up after the loss of Pietersen and du Plessis.
The Supergiants are yet to name a replacement for Marsh and Smith. They will next play against Delhi Daredevils in New Delhi on May 5.