Alyssa Healy will miss the rest of the Women’s Big Bash League and is in a race against the clock to tour India after a dog bite badly injured one of her fingers.
Healy visited surgeons for a second time late this week after the gruesome incident on Saturday night, in which she suffered a severed artery and some nerve damage.
She has been told a return within the next five weeks to play for the Sydney Sixers in the WBBL is unrealistic, with no clear timeline beyond that.
The chief concern for medical staff remains avoiding any post-operation infection – a significant risk for the next week.
Only after that period will Healy’s comeback path become clearer.
Australia are due to play a day-night Test against India in Mumbai from December 21, meaning wicketkeeper Healy remains in some doubt to feature in that match.
Three yet-to-be scheduled one-day internationals and Twenty20s will follow.
“This is not the news I was hoping for because I love playing in the WBBL and I love the Sydney Sixers,” Healy said.
“My focus now will be on making a full recovery and returning to play when the time is right.
“I’ll continue to spend time with the Sixers squad and offer any help I can to help the team and the club thrive for the rest of the competition.”
If Healy was to miss part of the tour of India, it is likely Beth Mooney would take the gloves and another batter would be called into the team.
Meg Lanning is expected to return to take the captaincy back off her long-term deputy Healy for that series, with Tahlia McGrath next in line if both are unavailable.
Healy had initially feared her career was at risk after she was bitten when putting her hands between her two dogs to break up a fight on Saturday night, describing the scenario as “like a crime scene”.
However, the 33-year-old’s spirits were lifted when she was cleared of any bone or tendon damage, which would have almost certainly ended her summer.
While there is some nerve damage, it is not likely to impact her cricket.
“There was an artery involved, which probably made it look more like a crime scene than it needed to be. It was quite gory,” Healy said earlier this week.
“When I pulled my finger out initially, I thought I was in strife. But it’s all gone smoothly at the moment.”