Sydney, Dec 2 (IANS) Australian cricket captain Ricky Ponting's career has been threatened by a chronic wrist injury.
In a bid to get over it quickly ahead of the Test series against South Africa, Ponting will visit surgeon Greg Hoy in Melbourne Thursday to have his reconstructed right wrist assessed to ease the pain.
A stabilising screw in the wrist is causing the pain. The wrist injury comes as Ponting faces a second crisis, with new figures revealing he is cricket's worst offender for slow over rates.
Leading sports medicine specialist Peter Larkins said Ponting needs to take a break of eight to 10 weeks to heal the wrist properly or risk long-term problems.
'In theory it could have an effect on his longevity because of performance being affected, in terms of grip strength, mainly for his batting. If he is in pain and distracted by that, and it's compromising his performances from a batsman's point of view, his form might drop away,' the Daily Telegraph quoted Larkins as saying.
'He needs a proper recovery that I don't think was available to him. And I think he had a setback early in the recovery because he was playing and now he may need to consider revising what he had done, because of that, not because it wasn't done properly,' he added.
The 34-year-old Ponting regularly bats with the wrist taped and needs painkillers to get through his innings. Larkins said the screw can be taken out but that would depend on how chronic the injury was.
'If it is bothering him, it can be taken out. But then again, whether you have underlying damage in the bone or the joint around those ligaments, that's where the chronic trouble can come in,' Larkins said.