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SHEFFIELD SHIELD 2016-17

Mennie ready for happy return

14 March 2017

Mennie will make his Shield return against Tasmania // Getty

AAP


AAP


Quick to line up in South Australia's final-round Shield match after overcoming an injury suffered during the Big Bash League

Paceman Joe Mennie says it could have been worse than a fractured skull and bleeding on the brain.

The fast bowler will this week return to first-class cricket for South Australia after recovering from being struck by a ball in January while training during the Big Bash League.

"I was actually very lucky, it could have been a lot worse than what it was," Mennie said on Tuesday.

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Mennie was struck in the side of the head by a ball while training with his BBL outfit the Sydney Sixers on January 23.

"I was just bowling in the nets and unfortunately a ball got hit back at me and I couldn't get the hands up in time," he said.

"In the past I have had it come back and just managed to evade it at the last second or get some hands on it, but unfortunately not that time and I copped it in the side of the face."

Mennie suffered a skull fracture and minor bleeding on the brain, with medicos opting for a conservative approach for the paceman's return to cricket.

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"It's all fully clear now," said Mennie, who made his Test debut in the ill-fated Hobart Test against South Africa last November.

"Speaking to specialist, he says there's no issues long term either.

"The whole time I have felt fine, I have been able to function normally.

"I'm just really keen to get back and play some cricket."

Mennie has been named in SA's squad for the Sheffield Shield match against Tasmania starting Thursday, but the Redbacks have been dealt a blow with fellow paceman Kane Richardson ruled out on Tuesday, replaced by Nick Winter in the 12-player squad.

The former Redbacks rookie has impressed at Futures League level this season, taking two five-wicket hauls against Victoria last month, including 5-6 in the first innings.

"Kane didn't complete training at 100 per cent on Tuesday and we need all of our players to be at that level for this must-win game against Tasmania," South Australia General Manager, High Performance Tim Nielsen said.

South Australia squad: Travis Head (c), Alex Carey, Tom Cooper, John Dalton, Callum Ferguson, Jake Lehmann, Joe Mennie, Chadd Sayers, Jake Weatherald, Nick Winter, Daniel Worrall, Adam Zampa