The Matador Cup continues to provide fans of Australian fast bowling with good news, with James Pattinson sighted going through the paces with the Victorian squad in Perth.
The aggressive fast bowler, who has 70 wickets at 26.15 from 17 Tests, is on the comeback trail after it was revealed in May that he had developed a relapse of stress fractures in his back.
Former Australia allrounder Tom Moody said Pattinson was targeting a return to the field for Victoria Premier Cricket club Dandenong next month before turning his attention to the Melbourne Renegades' KFC Twenty20 Big Bash campaign.
"He's not in the Matador squad, but he's travelling with the team to bowl in the nets," Moody said during commentary of today's Matador BBQs One-Day Cup clash between the Bushrangers and Western Australia.
"His bowling workloads are starting to take place, so he's up and running and bowling and hopes to be participating in grade cricket in a month's time.
"Then I believe his target is Big Bash cricket."
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Pattinson' s milestone on the comeback trail follows more good news from New South Wales yesterday, where Mitchell Starc celebrated removing his leg brace to present Ben Dwarshuis with his cap.
Starc is on the injury list after slicing open his lower leg in a freak training accident in September.
The leg is free!!! pic.twitter.com/W4msZedJyj— Mitch Starc (@mstarc56) October 6, 2016
Quick Single: Starc reveals graphic detail of leg injury
Pat Cummins, another young tyro who has been hampered by regular injuries, later took four wickets, including three in a two-over burst at the death that allowed NSW to avoid an embarrassing defeat to the CA XI.
Pattinson has not played a first-class match since February. The 26-year-old developed a bone stress injury in his left shin following the Christchurch Test against New Zealand in February, with that complaint ruling his out for the rest of the domestic summer.
It was then revealed in May that he had suffered a relapse of stress fractures in his back.
The first Commonwealth Bank Test against South Africa starts in Perth on November 3, leaving Sheffield Shield players with once chance to stake their claims for selection.
Victoria will face Tasmania in their opening Shield fixture, starting on October 25.
Peter Siddle has said he is unlikely to be fit for the first Test against the Proteas, having also been sidelined since February because of a back complaint.
Australia will play three Tests against the Proteas before a three-match series against Pakistan.