Paceman waiting on scans to work out playing future
CRICKET: Injured Redbacks paceman Joe Mennie's immediate playing future will be determined by medical scans and specialists next week.
Mennie - lucky to be alive after last month being frighteningly hit in the side of the head while bowling in the nets by a ball struck by Sydney Sixers teammate Michael Lumb - will have CAT scans and an MRI on Tuesday before seeing a neurosurgeon on Wednesday.
One-Test quick Mennie, 28, suffered a fractured skull and brain bleeding after the knock and has not been allowed to exercise since.
Redbacks sports science and medicine manager John Porter said the team is "planning" on Mennie returning for the final Sheffield Shield round of the season from March 16 and being available for the Shield final on March 26 if the Redbacks make it.
He said Mennie was "tracking really well and is symptom free" but must get the green light to resume exercise next week or his season will be in jeopardy.
"At the moment he is in a period of minimal exercise until we are sure that everything is healed fully because you don't want to expose him to any cricket balls until the bone is healed," Porter said.
"He is having some repeat scans on Tuesday, a CT and MRI, and will see a specialist on Wednesday when we expect him to get the all clear to resume exercise.
"We just have to make sure the fracture has healed and there is no residual bleeding or scarring inside his head.
"If the scans are clear we expect him to be able to progress pretty quickly."
Porter said Mennie's recovery had gone well and the serious injury, which occurred while Mennie was on Big Bash duty for the Sixers in Brisbane, had not affected his daily life.
"He's doing everything in daily life normally, without any symptoms, so we are really confident that he's going to be able to resume activity pretty quickly," he said.
"We are certainly planning on him playing hopefully the last Shield game (against Tasmania in Hobart) and to be available for the Shield final. The conservative approach would be the Shield final."
Porter admitted Mennie had dodged a bullet and that the injury could have had greater consequences.
"I'm not a specialist in that (head) area but when you get a knock to the head and have some bleeding inside it's a situation to be really cautious about," he said.
"But it was very well managed at the time by the Sixers physio and medical staff, the appropriate action was taking him to hospital and having him monitored."
Mennie made his Australian Test debut against South Africa in Hobart in November, taking 1/85 from 28 overs in the innings and 80-run defeat
Redbacks captain Travis Head said Mennie was in "good spirits" despite the serious injury.
"He's feeling in good health and wants to do stuff but you've got to respect the doctors wanting to look after his health and safety," he said.
"It's going to be a slow process for Joe but he's feeling good, which is the main thing."