After just three first class games and handful of Big-Bash clashes, he was fast tracked into international cricket and even made his debut in tests, winning man of the match as he batted his team to victory besides taking seven wickets. Returning from South Africa, Patrick Cummins was put in cold storage by Aussie selectors, saving him for the tougher series coming up against the Indians but it seems like 18 year old quickie will spend most part of the summer in cold nursing his injury..
New South Wales seamer has been diagnosed with a bone stress injury in his foot which will keep him away from his bowling shoes for next one month, going deep into January 2012, making him miss at least first three tests against Indians.
"Patrick injured his heel early into the second Test against South Africa," Australia's physio Alex Kountouris said. "By the end of the match he was quite sore and we had scans done after the game that confirmed heel 'fat pad' injury. On return to Australia, he was given some time to recover and was reviewed throughout last week by NSW medical staff and then by myself in Brisbane during the first Test versus New Zealand.
"By the end of last week it was apparent to all of us managing him that he was progressing slower than expected for a soft tissue injury of the heel. As such we arranged for him to see a foot specialist and had further scans that have identified a bone component to his injury, that was not evident on the original scans.
"We now believe that Patrick has a bone stress injury as well as the 'fat pad' injury. This means that his recovery will take longer than first expected. He is not likely to resume bowling until early to mid-January 2012."
Cricket Australia's general manager of team performance, Pat Howard, reveals that Cummins was recovering slower than expected on his return from African safari and seeing his big future, no risk will be taken.
"The medical staff took a decision that Patrick's recovery versus previous scans did not seem consistent and proactively made the decision that further scans were required," Howard said. "These scans have revealed a bone stress injury which pushes out his recovery by a few weeks.
"This wasn't picked up in the initial scans done in South Africa. Unfortunately this, when combined with Patrick's young age to re-prepare for Test cricket, means that he will miss much of the Indian series."
There's some possibility that Aussies are trying to hide their trump card from Indians and saying his injury is bigger than it was initially expected but if this isn't a bluff, with Mitchell Johnson ruled out for the summer, it seems like home team will be depending on young seamers in James Pattinson and Mitchell Starc who made their debut against New Zealand last week. Ryan Harris is expected to be fit before Indians arrive while Queenslander Peter Siddle is fit as a fiddle.
UpdateCummins is targeting the T20 series against India and Tri-series involving Sri Lanka in February 2012 but he's not completely ruling himself out of the tests this summer, yet. "Hopefully the one-day series and the Twenty20," he says. "Maybe I'll even be back in the Test. It will only make a few weeks difference. We thought there might have been something more to it because it took a bit longer to heal. Obviously it's disappointing but hopefully it doesn't make too much of a difference."
"Every year I look at it I get the nerves watching the batsmen go out to a packed crowd, to be a part of that one day would certainly be special. At the start of every season you come back hungrier and hopefully that's the case.", Pat remains positive.