Unlucky O'Keefe sweats on scan results | Big Bash League BBL
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Unlucky O'Keefe sweats on scan results

02 January 2018

Sixers spinner cleared of fracture after suffering leg injury during his side's defeat to the Scorchers in Perth

Overlooked Test spinner Stephen O'Keefe's rotten run with injury has continued after suffering a lower leg injury in Sydney Sixers' defeat to Perth Scorchers at the WACA on New Year's Day.

A brave-faced O'Keefe was on crutches on Monday evening after the winless Sixers went down to their hosts in a final-over thriller, having earlier heard a popping sound when he landed awkwardly on his left leg while fielding.

The 33-year-old had an X-ray in Perth on Monday night, which ruled out a fracture. He will have follow up scans in Sydney this week where the full extent of the injury will be revealed.

O'Keefe wrong-footed himself as he fielded a routine ground ball at short fine leg during the final over of the Scorchers' Power Play and immediately clutched at his left leg.

A lengthy break in the game ensued as a ginger O'Keefe received medical attention from Sixers physio Danny Redrup.

Match Highlights: Klinger scorches Sixers

O'Keefe, who had bowled three overs for 20 runs before the blow, tried to walk on his injured leg before eventually limping off to the change rooms in obvious pain.

Sixers wicketkeeper Peter Nevill revealed O'Keefe, who was this week passed over for the second spinning spot in Australia's Test squad for the final Test of the Magellan Ashes series, said he'd heard a "crack".

"Yeah (it's) a bit concerning," a mic'd-up Nevill said on Channel 10's broadcast. "He (O'Keefe) said he heard a bit of a cracking sound. Hopefully it's not that bad."

It continues a difficult stretch with injury in recent times for O'Keefe.

He missed the first three games of the Blues' JLT Sheffield Shield season after breaking a finger on his right hand while playing NSW Premier Cricket in October.

In November 2016, he was sidelined with a low-grade calf injury and earlier that year he suffered a hamstring injury while chasing a ball in the field on Australia's Test tour of Sri Lanka.

While he hasn't yet claimed a wicket in BBL|07 through four games for the winless Sixers, he's been one of their most bankable bowlers with a superb economy rate of 6.50 and has pitched in with knocks of 19, 23 and 28 with Sydney's top-order faltering in the early rounds.

Despite recently earning a shock Test recall on Australia's tour of Bangladesh in September, O'Keefe lost out to Western Australian Ashton Agar for this week's Sydney Test against England.

O'Keefe had been realistic about his chances of partnering Nathan Lyon at the SCG for a third year in a row.

"The message I got from the selectors was that they were looking at younger guys," O'Keefe told cricket.com.au last month.

"They've got some great spin bowling qualities around the country in young guys and these young guys are taking wickets with the likes of (leg-spinner Mitch) Swepson and Agar.

Klinger's knock puts Scorchers on top

"I know my place, I completely understand what path they want to go down, if they want to pick those guys because I think they're starting to hit their straps.

"In saying that, personally you'd love to play in an Ashes Test and I'd love to play at the SCG. I don't think anything would beat an Ashes Test at home at the SCG."

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Sydney Sixers BBL

Stephen O'Keefe