Reports: Rajasthan Royals might seek replacement for Steve Smith
Former Australia captain Steve Smith, whose recent injury might force him to miss back-to-back IPL seasons, has left the Rajasthan Royals pondering over the possibility of seeking his replacement for the 2019 edition, according to a report in the Mumbai Mirror.
Smith injured his right elbow earlier this month and had to return home from the Bangladesh Premier League, where he played two games for the Comilla Victorians. Last week, he had trouble batting in the nets. An MRI scan was done and the reports were sent to Australian physicians, following which he was immediately told to return back to his country.
The injury will force him to wear a brace for a month and a half, after which a rehabilitation process will start.
“Steve Smith will undergo surgery on Tuesday to repair a ligament in his right elbow. He is expected to wear a brace for six weeks before commencing rehabilitation. Return to play time frames will be clearer once the brace has been removed," a statement from a Cricket Australia spokesperson had said earlier.
Given that the IPL begins on March 23, Smith's complete rehabilitation might see him recover only by the time the tournament enters its second half, around April 15th.
In such a scenario, the Royals are reportedly searching for alternatives, and might look for a replacement if IPL authorities allow.
Smith, along with David Warner, wasn't part of the 2018 IPL as well, after the ball-tampering saga in South Africa, just a month before the eleventh season. IPL authorities were forced to ban the duo from participating in the T20 league.
The Royals recently re-appointed Paddy Upton as the head coach for the upcoming season, and have Shane Warne in their ranks as mentor.
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