Pucovski should consider taking a 3-4 year break, suggests Ian Healy

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Former Australian wicketkeeper-batter Ian Healy feels young batter Will Pucovski should consider taking a 3-4 year break from the game following the latest episode of concussion the 24-year-old suffered ahead of the Sheffield Shield game between Victoria and South Australia on February 12.

This was Pucovski’s 11th concussion in his nascent cricketing career and left him staring at an uncertain Test future. The youngster was making his first-class return after nearly 12 months following his Test debut against India last year.

The batter started showing concussion symptoms after he was hit in the head by a football in the warm-up before the final day of the Shield game at Adelaide Oval.

While Victorian coach Chris Rogers said it was too early for people to calls for the batting prodigy’s retirement, Healy told SEN’s Pat and Heals on Monday that, it’s up to Pucovski and his family to take a call on his cricketing career.

“Victorian cricket says it’s up to Will and his family… this is totally experts now. You do not get concussion by kicking a soccer ball into your own head and his knocks are accumulating so badly that some very innocuous blows have caused him a lot of time out of the game.

“This is time for the experts — stand up and give your opinion. I feel Will might have to go to Uni (university), get a degree behind you and in three or four years’ time, we’ll make a cricket comeback,” Healy opined.

“The brain can repair, but it needs time — it’s not 30 days. This needs to be very expertly handled. Support through this by cricket, sure, but no pressure whatsoever.”

Pucovski had emerged as a bright batting prospect for Australia with the opener scoring 1,870 runs at an average of 53.42 in 25 first-class games.

Cricket Victoria general manager of cricket Shaun Graf also said that there were multiple scenarios surrounding Pucovski, adding that when the latest concussion incident happened, it threw the team into a “chaos”.

“It was fairly innocuous to be quite honest, it was a ball that just scraped his face and he was okay, then he started to get a little bit of a headache,” Graf told SEN Breakfast. “He went back out and he fielded but he had to come straight back off, he felt nauseous and they’re all the symptoms of a concussion.

“Very disappointing, disappointing for him but also disappointing for the team, it threw us into a bit of chaos for about half an hour. Prior to this, he (Pucovski) had discussions with the medical staff and they were starting to get worried, obviously so many concussions even though they are minor now,” he said.

“We’re talking with his management, he’s got to talk to his manager, his dad, and work out where he wants to be and then have a chat with us but from a sports point of view, obviously we’re really worried. It’s not just in the short term but the long term, so they’re all the questions we need to look at. We can’t go ahead and keep on playing and having to always have someone on standby more or less as a concussion substitute, it does throw the team out as well, so we’ve got to think about how it affects the total structure of our team,” said Graf.

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