A serious back injury nearly cost Ellyse Perry World Cup glory and is stopping her bowling.
Superstar Australian all-rounder Ellyse Perry isn’t finished as a bowler and hopes the rest she gets playing at the Commonwealth Games as a battery helps heal a stress fracture in her back and makes her a better bowler.
Injuries have become a thorn for the World Cup winner’s bowling stocks with rising star Tayla Vlaeminck ruled out of not just the Commonwealth Games but also the next WBBL season as she continues to battle a serious foot injury which forced her to miss the April triumph.
Perry only just made it to the final in New Zealand, and didn’t bowl, after revelations she played out the tournament with the back issue which first presented as back spasms before scans showed the full extent of the issue.
She missed the semi-final but returned for the final and Perry said the injury isn’t completely healed, even though she will be a part of the Games in Birmingham in July.
“We’ve having some progressive scans as I’m going and each time that will give us a clear indication of how it’s healing and where I’m at in terms of bowling again,” the 31-year-old said on Friday.
“But we’ve got to wait until it’s completely healed before I can start bowling. It could be soon, but it might be delayed depending on the progress there.”
“I certainly enjoy playing the game doing both (batting and bowling)… I don’t really want to change that. Even if with this injury, I don’t think it really impairs that.”
Perry is part of the 15-player squad for Birmingham, but even if she’s fully fit a spot in the best XI is no longer guaranteed.
She was left out of the Australia’s T20 side during last summer’s Ashes and her lack of bowling could hurt her selection chances at the Games.
But she said the recovery period would help her refine her bowling technique given her latest setback was due to both workload and some technical issues.
“This period gives me a chance to clean up a little bit and hopefully when I do get the chance to bowl again, it’sa bit more efficient and not putting as much stress on my body,” she said.
“So in a way I actually feel like Benjamin Button because apparently these injuries are very much a young person’s injury – so I’ll take that!
Vlaeminck, 23, has played just a single T20 for Australia in 2022 and has been working with the Australian Ballet in a bid to rehabilitate the navicular stress fracture in her foot.
Selectors have picked the same squad that triumphed at the World Cup in New Zealand this year to go for gold in Birmingham, where Shelley Nitschke will take the reins as interim head coach after Matthew Mott’s was appointed as England one-day coach.
But Vlaeminck’s return to cricket remains unknown.
“Tayla is also progressing well in her rehab after sustaining a navicular stress fracture prior to the Ashes in January,” team physiotherapist Kate Beerworth said.
“She’s been working with the Australian Ballet over the past few months and will continue to progress her rehab using a collaborative approach with Cricket Victoria, Cricket Australia and Australian Ballet staff.
“Tayla’s injury is long-term and she remains unavailable for the tri-series, Commonwealth Games and the WBBL, with no date set for her return at this stage.”
Women’s T20 cricket is making its debut at this year’s Games in an eight-team competition, with all matches played at Edgbaston, a ground where Australia’s women have never won.
Before heading to Birmingham, the Aussies play four games in a week in a tri-series against Ireland and Pakistan.
Australia’s Commonwealth Games squad: Meg Lanning (c), Rachael Haynes (vc), Darcie Brown, Nicola Carey, Ashleigh Gardner, Grace Harris, Alyssa Healy, Jess Jonassen, Alana King, Tahlia McGrath, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Annabel Sutherland, Amanda-Jade Wellington.