Australian quick James Pattinson fit but rules out test return
MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Australia fast bowler James Pattinson is ready to return to cricket next month after being out of action since February due to injury but has ruled out playing tests this year.
The right-arm quick returned from injury in the second test against New Zealand in Christchurch but was then sidelined due to a bone stress injury in his leg and then a relapse of stress fractures in his back.
The 26-year-old said he was considering a grade-cricket comeback in early November, with a potential start in the Melbourne Renegades' Twenty20 Big Bash campaign and a Sheffield Shield game before Christmas.
"I'm off my long run next week. I'll probably be playing grade cricket in the next couple of weeks and then see how I go from there," Pattinson told reporters.
"I haven't ruled out playing international cricket (this summer). I probably won't play test cricket."
Australia begin a three-test series against South Africa next month before hosting New Zealand for three one-day internationals and three tests against Pakistan.
(Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly; editing by Peter Rutherford)