CA dismisses ' misdiagnosing back stress fractures' claims

Sydney, Sept 18 : Cricket Australia (CA) has defended its injury management record against claims by a leading spinal specialist of misdiagnosing back stress fractures, which grounded Test bowlers including James Pattinson, Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins

Former head of spinal injuries unit at Royal Adelaide Hospital, Professor Robert Fraser believes that it is time to blow the whistle on a decade of back injury analysis, saying that there is no convincing evidence that new stress fractures develop in adults after skeletal maturity.

According to, the fundamentals driving CA's injury protocols could have been hindering rather than helping a generation of fast bowlers from Brett Lee to Pattinson if Fraser's claim is correct.

Stating that it is not surprising that a bone scan will show evidence of a stress reaction or inflammation given the repeated loads on the lower backs of fast bowlers, Fraser, who helped solve Shane Watson's back issues in 2009, said that this does not indicate a serious injury and does not require prolonged rest and lay-off from bowling.

However, CA general manager of team performance Pat Howard dismissed Fraser's suggestions, saying that CA's cautious approach is justified, adding that players need a period of rest from the injuries to build them up like marathon runners.

According to Howard, CA backs the expertise of head physiotherapist Alex Kountouris in bowling-related back stress fractures, who stated that high early workload could place bowlers at risk of a premature retirement, although he added that CA is open to new scientific evidence.

Pointing to the success of CA preparation in assembling a fleet of quicks like Pattinson, Starc, Ryan Harris, Peter Siddle, Bird and James Faulkner for the return Ashes series, Howard also said that experienced reinforcements like Mitchell Johnson, Ben Hilfenhaus and youngster Josh Hazlewood can show up against England in the series.

--ANI (Posted on 18-09-2013)

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