Allrounder John Hastings is likely to miss the Melbourne Stars’ Big Bash League campaign, and probably the rest of the summer, with the Stars “fearing the worst” following his knee injury in Victoria’s Sheffield Shield match against Tasmania last week.
Hastings isn’t the only Victorian with injury concerns, with the Adelaide Strikers expecting spinner Jon Holland to be unavailable for the competition because of an ankle issue, which is not however expected to render him unavailable for the upcoming Test tour of India.
Holland – who made his Test debut earlier this year in Sri Lanka – is enjoying a fruitful summer for Victoria. He is equal second on the Shield wicket-takers list with 27 scalps. However it’s believed he has been plagued by a niggling ankle injury, and will be absent for four to five weeks.
That puts him in doubt for the whole BBL but means he remains in the frame to tour India, where Australia will need depth in their spin stocks behind Nathan Lyon.
That they will likely be without Holland is a blow to Adelaide, who have already lost star spinner Adil Rashid to international duties with England. The pair’s absence could however open the door for young left-arm spinner Tom Andrews.
Hastings, 31, had only recently returned from a finger injury, but was hurt again in the thriller against the Tigers. He slipped while bowling, injuring his knee, and was later taken to hospital.
Hastings took no further part in the match, and it’s understood he was due to see his specialist on Monday.
Stars coach Stephen Fleming said he was expecting to be without Hastings for the BBL. “We won’t see much of him, if at all. If news is better than that great, but we fear for the worst. We’re looking at probably not having him for the Big Bash,” Fleming told Fairfax Media.
“We’ll just wait for confirmation of that, and fingers crossed it’s not the case. I think it was patella tendon. It didn’t look good and it hasn’t been good for the last few days.”
The veteran fast-medium had worked his way back into Australia’s ODI team over the past 15 months, taking 29 wickets in 18 ODI appearances – second in the world behind Australian leg-spinner and Stars teammate Adam Zampa. He was overlooked for the recent series against New Zealand, weeks after breaking his finger at Victorian training in Sydney in October.
Fleming said the absence of Hastings would likely mean greater opportunities at the Stars for Ben Hilfenhaus and Evan Gulbis, both of whom are in NZ playing in that country’s domestic competition.
The Stars are otherwise relatively fit heading into their practice matches against the Sydney Thunder in Albury on Tuesday, although all-rounder James Faulkner pulled up sore following ODI duties against the Black Caps.
Former England captain Kevin Pietersen will miss the Stars’ first game against Hobart on Boxing Day as he spends time with his family at home, however should be available for the remainder of the tournament.
The Stars will also be without Peter Handscomb for the early part of the tournament due to his Test commitments, while Glenn Maxwell, Faulkner and Zampa are likely to miss the back half of the event because of ODI duties.