Matthew Wade could be set for an earlier than expected return from a fractured collarbone, with the Australia one-day wicketkeeper hoping to be fit for the start of the start of the KFC Big Bash League season.
Wade was originally eyeing a return to cricket after Christmas, but now the Melbourne Renegades wicketkeeper believes he could be back behind the stumps earlier with his recovery progressing well.
The 27-year-old underwent surgery last month after being struck on the right shoulder batting in the nets moments before the scheduled start of Victoria’s Sheffield Shield clash against Western Australia at the MCG.
He was subsequently ruled out of Victoria's remaining Shield matches for the year.
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Wade’s sights are now set on the Melbourne Renegades’ opening match of BBL|05 against the Brisbane Heat on December 19.
“It’s coming along nicely,” Wade told bigbash.com.au.
“It’s been two or three weeks now so I’m hoping I’ll be right for the first game of BBL, fingers crossed.”
Renegades chairman Stuart Coventry said the franchise would monitor Wade’s progress closely over the next fortnight before making a decision on his BBL availability.
“We’ll be guided by our medical and coaching staff on a potential date for his return this BBL season.
“We’ll watch his progress closely over the next fortnight and make further decisions based on that.”
While the Renegades will have their other wicketkeeper – Test gloveman Peter Nevill – at their disposal for their Big Bash League opener on December 19, an early return by Wade would be welcomed with a match against the Sydney Sixers looming on December 23.
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Wade’s progress is also welcome news for Australia’s ODI team, who kick off the Victoria Bitter ODI Series against India in Perth on January 12.
Wade was in superb touch for Australia in their one-day international series win over England in September.
Batting down the order, Wade averaged 82 in the five-match series and smashed a 26-ball half-century in Australia's three-wicket loss in Headingley.