Steven Smith feeling ‘pretty normal’ after cortisone injection for wrist injury

Steven Smith has had a cortisone injection to help him overcome the wrist tendon injury he suffered during the Ashes and is hopeful of being able to play pain-free during the World Cup.

He had initially worn a splint but that did not solve the problem so he resorted to the injection and was able to return to batting in the nets last week ahead of flying to India for the three-match ODI series which will lead into the World Cup.

“I was in a brace for a couple of weeks, just trying to limit the movement, which once I got that off it hadn’t really made a big difference to be honest,” Smith told Nine newspapers at a promotional event in Sydney. “Then I got a cortisone in it last Thursday, and that has made a big difference. So I’ve had a couple of sessions back batting now and it feels pretty normal.”

Smith said that the pain would often be worst when the bat twisted in his hands but since the injection he has felt no discomfort.

“I inside-edged a couple of balls in the nets the other day and my bat turned sharp, and I was like ‘oh, that was hurting before’ and it wasn’t hurting anymore,” he said. “So that’s a real positive, and I feel as though I can play all my shots and there’s no pain at all.”

With Travis Head now a major injury doubt for the World Cup after suffering a fractured hand at Centurion, Smith could find himself in his favoured No. 3 position amid talk that initial plans had been for him to slip down a spot to accommodate a power-packed top three of Head, David Warner and Mitchell Marsh.

“I think I average 55 at three, or something like that, so it’s definitely my preferred spot. But I’ll do whatever the team needs,” he said. “White-ball cricket, you’d love to bat as high as you can, so we’ll see what they want to do.”

The three ODIs in India will be important for a number of Australia’s World Cup squad to get into gear having missed the games in South Africa. Like Smith, Pat Cummins (wrist), Mitchell Starc (groin) and Glenn Maxwell (ankle and paternity leave) have yet to have any game time in the lead-up to the tournament.

Meanwhile, Cameron Green has missed the bulk of the series in South Africa after suffering concussion in the opening match in Bloemfontein while Ashton Agar only featured in that game before being unable to play due to soreness then flying home for the birth of his child. Agar is not expected back with the squad until the World Cup warm-up matches after the India series where Australia will face Netherlands on September 30 and Pakistan on October 3.

They begin their tournament campaign against India, in Chennai, on October 8.

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