Will Pucovski can play through pain of have season-ending surgery on a shoulder injury which isn’t healing as he’d hoped

Season-ending surgery on his injured shoulder remains an option for Test opener Will Pucovski after he pulled up sore from a Thursday net session which is set to rule him out of Victoria’s Sheffield Shield clash next week.

Victorian coach Chris Rogers said the decision on whether the 22-year-old would play “under duress” for the rest of the domestic summer, or go under the knife, would be left up to Pucovski.

The young batting star partially dislocated his right shoulder while fielding during his Test debut against India at the SCG in January, after making a first innings half-century, and hasn’t been able to play since.

Rogers said playing with pain was never easy, but the decision to push through, or not, was a huge one for Pucovski to make having already missed so much cricket through concussion and breaks to address his mental wellbeing.

“It’s not really our decision, it’s definitely his decision, it’s his career, and we have to support that,” Rogers said on Friday.

“That’s in conjunction with the Australian side as well, we’ll support whatever he thinks. He’ll be get getting advice from a lot of different people, and it will become clearer over the next week or two.

“It’s really hard. It’s hard when you are playing not at 100 per cent, you start to think that’s how you are going to play for the rest of your career. Particularly as the shoulder hasn’t responded to rehab as well as he would have liked.

“He’s really considering that option of surgery. He will go and talk to the relevant people, and we should hear what he has to say.

“Throughout your career you are going to play under duress at times, whether he has considered that, and (it’s impact on) his standards himself, I am not sure.

“You want to play when you are pain free, even from a mental point of view. Playing with pain, it can make days really long.”

Will Pucovski lived up to the hype with a first-innings 50 on Test debut at the SCG (Photo by DAVID GRAY / AFP)Source:AFP

The Vics have a hectic schedule ahead, with six Shield games to play in seven weeks, as well as five one-day matches.

But Rogers knows the completion of the season could again be impacted by any COVID-19 outbreaks, with Victoria on the verge of a third wave and potentially another lockdown.

A meeting on Friday afternoon was set to determine if the Vics needed to make a hasty exit to NSW for next week’s games.

“That was why the schedule is for every side to play eight games but for it to be a Shield season, everyone needs to have only played seven. There is an expectation or some wriggle room around the fact we might have some game cancelled,” he said.

“South Australia play their last game against us. If their border is closed to Victoria, are they prepared to come to us ? On the way out would be an issue for them. There’s lots of things to consider.

“One of our last games is against West Australia is in Perth, which will be touch and go. It’s up to me and the coaches to prepare the players to play and what will be will be.”

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