Shoulder injury forces early end to Jackson Bird’s Kent stay

Jackson Bird will undergo treatment back in Australia after a shoulder injury limited his 2022 County Championship stint to just three appearances for Kent.

The club confirmed on Tuesday that right-arm seamer Bird had been advised by a specialist to fly home to begin rehabilitation on the torn tendon which forced him from the field during their Division One innings defeat to Hampshire last month.

Bird’s injury prompted Kent to recall Grant Stewart from an intended one-month loan spell at Sussex after just one game to bolster their seam attack. But the club had further cause for concern when Stewart, the bowling allrounder who scored 90 in the second innings of Kent’s draw with Yorkshire on Sunday, batted with a runner after injuring his hamstring while bowling the previous day. Stewart’s injury is due to be assessed in the coming days.

Matt Walker, Kent’s head coach, told KentOnline that Bird’s injury would require “a huge amount” of rehabilitation work. “He’s torn a tendon in his shoulder, which is not a great injury. It’s going to take a huge amount of rehab and he wouldn’t be fit for his remaining time with us anyway. So he’s gone home.”

Kent signed the 35-year-old Bird for six matches ahead of New Zealand seamer Matt Henry‘s arrival in mid-July.

Bird, who has previously featured for Hampshire and Nottinghamshire, had to pull out of a planned county stint with Lancashire last season because of a bulging disc in his neck. He also missed the first three months of the Australian summer with an Achilles tendon problem.

Bird took three wickets in Kent’s drawn first match of this season against Essex, in which he also scored 53 not out, before going wicketless against Lancashire and managing just 11 overs in the Hampshire fixture.

Paul Downton, Kent’s director of cricket, said: “We all wish Jackson a swift recovery and he leaves with our best wishes. We hope to see him fit and playing again at the start of the Australian season.”

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