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Will Pucovski's concussions not as bad as previously thought, says report

Melbourne, July 29 (IANS) Young Australia batter Will Pucovski has received a massive fitness boost with his medical reports suggesting that the multiple concussions he suffered while playing or fielding were not as serious as previously thought.

The talented Australian batter was recently included in a group of eight players to attend a 10-day training camp at the MRF Academy in Chennai next month to prepare for the conditions on the sub-continent, as the Pat Cummins-led Test side begins its preparations in right earnest for the gruelling series in India next year.

Pucovski was a surprise inclusion, given that he has suffered 11 concussions in his nascent career. However, recent reports suggest the concussions are not as bad as previously thought. The youngster has played just one Test so far despite showing promise in the game against India at SCG during the 2021 series.

Pucovski’s most recent concussion episode, his 11th, happened this year when he was struck by a volleyball while warming up for a Sheffield Shield game.

However, a report in News Corp on Friday said that medical examinations had revealed seven of those concussions weren’t so bad.

“Because I’ve had some pretty bad concussions in the past which have knocked me around quite a bit and… I’ve missed school for extended periods or I’ve been struggling to get going for months at a time… it’s been explained to me that your brain is pretty complex if you do get head knocks,” Pucovski was quoted as saying in the report.

“They might not necessarily be concussions, but they’ll present as symptoms of concussion because your brain goes into overdrive to protect you based on your previous incidents. When it was explained to me like that it actually made a lot of sense to me, because, not to compare the two, but if someone had been in a really bad car crash and a car comes flashing past, they’re going to feel quite anxious.

“The hard bit for me has been at those times when you are getting symptoms of concussion that are real symptoms, trying to distinguish between the two when you’re obviously in a bit of heightened stress and have had it multiple times — it’s a hard thing to distinguish, ‘is this real or is this an extreme reaction of anxiety?'” added Pucovski.

Pucovski along with seven other players will train alongside local players at the MRF Academy at Chennai next month and participate in a two-day and one-day match within the camp block, with former Sri Lanka all-rounder Thilan Samaraweera coaching the young group and former Australia pace bowler Glenn McGrath also included in the coaching staff.

“I’ve been doing a lot of work with a lot of experts to try and manage the situation as best as possible when it does come up. But knowing firstly that I’ve done a million tests that have shown that all my function and brain stuff cognitively is all good and that I’ve probably only had four or five concussions — even if some of them have been pretty bad — does make you feel a lot more comfortable than 11 or 12,” he added.

On the upcoming 10-day trip to the MRF Academy, Pucovski said, “I think I’ve really narrowed my focus to go to India in 10 days’ time, get the most out of myself over there, get back and then it’ll be just whatever the next game is,” he said.

–IANS

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