Travis Head’s participation at next month’s World Cup has been thrown into uncertainty after the Australian opener fractured his left hand during the fourth ODI against South Africa.
Head was struck on the on the left glove by a short delivery from Proteas seamer Gerald Coetzee in the seventh over in the fourth ODI here on Friday.
The 29-year-old faced three more deliveries but looked in discomfort and was forced to retire hurt in Australia’s massive 164-run loss.
“It’s a confirmed fracture,” Australia head coach Andrew McDonald said at the post match conference.
“As to the nature of what sort of time frame that lends itself to, that will be assessed tomorrow,” he added More scans on Saturday will reveal the extent of the injury.
“He’s going to go in for more scans tomorrow to get a detail of that, then we’ll work out the management of it from there.
“I’m not a medical person but I think it’s a bit higher up than the finger itself … it’s in a joint (in the hand) somewhere. Fingers crossed with the World Cup fast approaching,” McDonald added.
The injury throws Australia’s plans into disarray with only weeks to go for the World Cup in India, starting on October 5.
If Head misses the start of the World Cup, Mitchell Marsh could be elevated to the opening position given his good run at the top in the series against India earlier this year.
However, should Head be ruled out of the tournament, Australian selectors might be tempted to add the in-form Marnus Labuschagne in the squad.
Australia take on India in Chennai on October 8 in their tournament opener.
The last date to make changes to the squad is September 28, post which any changes would need approval from the ICC.