Nathan Lyon arrives on crutches as calf injury puts Ashes role in doubt

By Sports Desk June 30, 2023

Nathan Lyon’s chances of playing any further part in the Ashes looked to be in doubt after he arrived on the third morning at Lord’s on crutches.

The Australia spinner had to be helped off the pitch on Thursday evening after pulling up with an apparent calf problem as he fielded in the deep.

The 35-year-old, playing his 100th consecutive Test, looked distraught as he hobbled around the boundary edge with question marks immediately raised over his continued presence on the tour.

He joined his team-mates at the ground on Friday morning, but his reliance on crutches and the presence of a compression sock told its own story.

It now seems almost impossible that he will be play a role in ongoing match, while the three-day turnaround before the third Test at Headingley means that must be highly unlikely too.

Cricket Australia’s medical staff are monitoring Lyon but offered no official update as he battles to save his series.

Steve Smith admitted he was not optimistic when asked about the injury at the end of day two.

“Obviously it didn’t look good,” he said.

“I mean it doesn’t look ideal for the rest of the game. I’m not sure how he actually is, but if he is no good, it is obviously a big loss for us.

“Fingers crossed he is okay but it didn’t look good.”

Australia have three part-time spinners who may be asked to pick up a share of the workload over the next three days, with Smith joined by Travis Head and Marnus Labuschagne, but should Lyon be ruled out of the next match Todd Murphy is in line for promotion.

Related items

  • Small role for Matthews as Mumbai Indians secure seven-wicket win over RCB Small role for Matthews as Mumbai Indians secure seven-wicket win over RCB

    West Indies captain Hayley Matthews had only a small role to play, as her Mumbai Indians team registered a comfortable seven-wicket win over Royal Challengers Bangalore to assume pole position of the Women’s Premier League at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium, on Saturday.

    Matthews, who made 55 in a losing cause on last, got a fairly decent start, and though she failed to push on, it mattered little, as Mumbai Indians made light work of the modest target set by Royal Challengers Bangalore.

    Chasing 132, Mumbai Indians got to their target with 29 balls to spare, with Matthews contributing a brisk 21-ball 26.

    She struck three fours and a solitary six in a 45-run opening stand with Yastika Bhatia, which laid the foundation for the run chase. Bhatia lashed a 15-ball 31. 

    Matthews added a further 24 runs for the second wicket with captain Nat Sciver-Brunt (27), before holing out to cover off-spinner Shreyanka Patil.

    From there, it was left for New Zealander Amelia Kerr to apply the finish with a snappy 40 off 24 balls, including seven fours, that fuelled an important 49-run third wicket partnership with Sciver-Brunt.

    Earlier, RCB stumbled their way to 131 for six off their 20 overs after being sent in, Australian Ellyse Perry holding the innings together with an unbeaten 44 off 38 balls.

    With the innings in trouble at 42 for four in the ninth over, Perry put on 29 for the fifth wicket with fellow countrywoman Sophie Molineux (12), before adding a further 51 for the seventh wicket with another international teammate Georgia Wareham, who made 27 from 20 deliveries.

    The win was Mumbai’s third in four games, putting them top of the standings on six points.

  • Glenn Phillips grabs five wickets as New Zealand cling to hope Glenn Phillips grabs five wickets as New Zealand cling to hope

    New Zealand kept their hopes in the first Test alive as Glenn Phillips took five wickets to bowl Australia out and set a target of 369 on the third day in Wellington.

    Nightwatchman Nathan Lyon was the unlikely top scorer for Australia, falling on 41 with his first Test 50 in sight.

    Cameron Green continued his form with 34, but all-rounder Phillips spun his way to five wickets and was on a hat-trick after removing Travis Head for 29 and dismissing Mitch Marsh with the next ball.

    Phillips finished with 5-45 as Australia were all out for 164.

    The Australians struck early in the Blackcaps innings, Lyon dismissing Tom Latham and Kane Williamson for single-digit scores, before part-timer Head removed Will Young for 15.

    Rachin Ravindra (56 not out) and Daryl Mitchell (12 not out) dug in for the rest of the day.

    Two days remain with New Zealand requiring 257 pull off what would be an incredible victory.

  • Mauricio Pochettino preaches patience with Reece James despite England hopes Mauricio Pochettino preaches patience with Reece James despite England hopes

    Mauricio Pochettino insists Reece James will not be rushed back from the hamstring injury that has disrupted his season, even if a delayed return costs him a place in England’s Euro 2024 squad.

    The club captain has made just eight Premier League appearances this campaign and is at risk of missing out on a second international tournament in as many years, having been ruled out of the 2022 World Cup with a knee problem.

    He featured only 16 times in the league last season when a combination of knee and hamstring injuries kept him on the sidelines for club and country.

    And after being forced off during August’s 1-1 draw with Liverpool he has had even worse luck this term.

    The 24-year-old, who has only once in his Chelsea career reached 30 league appearances in a season, teased on social media this week that “the comeback is coming” and has returned to the training pitch, albeit working separately from his team-mates.

    However, with a history of recurring fitness problems, Pochettino was understandably cautious about reintroducing him and was adamant he would not be hurried back for the sake of his international place.

    “I cannot say the date of when it’s possible,” said the Argentinian. “His target and our target is for him to be fit and feel happy and well. Then we’ll see about the possibility of going to the Euros or not, or to be ready for next season or to play before we finish this season.

    “The most important thing now is to build his confidence, his physical condition, to recover all the good feelings.

    “The target is not to try and play the last five games or in the Euros or pre-season. The target is to build again his confidence and to feel strong, then to start to play when he feels strong and can deal again with the competition.”

    Despite establishing himself as a key figure for Chelsea when fit, James has so far made just a single major tournament appearance, starting for Gareth Southgate’s side in a goalless draw with Scotland at Euro 2020.

    He looked set to be a member of the squad in Qatar until a knee injury in a Champions League match against AC Milan scuppered his chances.

    “I didn’t speak with (Southgate),” said Pochettino. “But we have spoken people involved in (the FA), medical, performance people.

    “It’s not ‘now I can go on the pitch, I can play’. It’s to be sure we can go to the competition and he can feel strong and can forget all that has happened in the past.”

    James will be one of seven players unavailable to Pochettino at Brentford on Saturday.

    Injures have severely disrupted the seasons of Christopher Nkunku, Romeo Lavia, Lesley Ugochukwu and Carney Chukwuemeka, whilst Wesley Fofana is likely to be forced to miss the entire campaign.

    The manager reiterated his frustration at the impact injuries have had on his first season in charge.

    “When you start the season, you put in your head the idea of the potential of the squad,” he said. “When you think about Nkunku, Reece, (Ben) Chilwell or Fofana, Lavia, (Moises) Caicedo, you imagine the players in the best place, with all their potential.

    “Then when the circumstances happen, of course it’s about translating the reality. If you go back and say ‘no, you said we can play to win the Premier League’ – when you see the possibility that you have with the squad, then of course.

    “But then with the circumstance, the reality, we’ve had 10, 12 players every single week out. That will affect the performance of the team.”

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.