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Usman Khawaja sent for scans, clears first concussion test after bouncer blow

Usman Khawaja has been initially cleared of concussion but will undergo precautionary scans on his jaw after he copped a blow to the head from Shamar Joseph with just one run to win in Australia’s 10-wicket victory over West Indies in Adelaide.

Khawaja lost sight of a short ball from around the wicket and was hit on the right side of his jaw after the ball brushed across his chest as he tried to turn his head out of the way. He was assessed by the doctor on field before retiring hurt.

Cricket Australia confirmed he had passed an initial concussion test in the dressing room but had been sent for an x-ray, and possibly a CT scan if needed, to check there was no structural damage to his jaw.

He will need to pass another concussion test on Saturday to be cleared to play in the second Test in Brisbane, which starts on January 25, with delayed concussion remaining a possibility. Should he fail, he will enter a concussion protocol period of anywhere between five to eight days that would put him in severe doubt to play.

Australia captain Pat Cummins had spoken to Khawaja briefly after the win. “He seems okay,” he said. “It’s a little bit of a sore jaw. So yeah, [we’ll] monitor it but he seems okay.”
Khawaja was hit in the head on the only day Australia were without a spare batter at the ground. Australia’s selectors gave Matt Renshaw clearance to fly to Gold Coast last night to play in the BBL Qualifier for Brisbane Heat against Sydney Sixers which meant for one of the rare times in the concussion substitute era of international cricket, Australia did not have a reserve batter on site.

Renshaw had flown on the proviso that he would travel back on Saturday morning and that if something significant happened he could have returned to Adelaide earlier.

But with the game ending there was no need for that to occur. With Khawaja set to be monitored in the coming days, Renshaw is the next in line to play in Brisbane if he isn’t fit. That will affect Renshaw’s availability to play in the other BBL finals if Heat require him on either Monday and Wednesday.

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