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Big Bash League: Callum Ferguson to miss season with serious knee injury

A serious knee injury to Callum Ferguson will rob Melbourne Renegades of a valuable batsman for the upcoming Big Bash League season.
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And, more significantly, it continues the wretched injury run of the South n batsman who was on track to be a key middle-order player for until he suffered his first major setback six years ago.

When Ferguson fell to the ground while fielding during a practice match on Tuesday it was considered positive it related his left knee, rather than the right knee that needed reconstruction surgery after a mishap in the final of the 2009 Champions Trophy.

The pessimism of his Renegades captain Aaron Finch and coach David Saker when they spoke early on Wednesday, well before the scan results were known, proved well founded: the 31-year-old had ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee.

Ferguson, an elegant right-hander, will miss the rest of the season. He will visit experts on his return to Adelaide in coming days to determine if, as expected, he will require a full reconstruction.

From a Renegades perspective, the absence of Ferguson is likely to see both Tom Cooper and Tom Beaton regularly play in the middle order, starting on Saturday away to Brisbane. They will scour for a replacement n batsmen, to help fill the void when Finch departs to one-day duty in the second half of the tournament.

But, as coach Saker acknowledged, “it’s more just a shame for Callum himself because he’s in fantastic form”.

“We’re naturally disappointed for Callum and he has our best wishes for a full recovery. He had been playing some really good cricket both for his state and in practice with us.

“It’ll have an impact on the team because he was one of our top-order batters and we were planning on him playing a big part for us this season.”

Ferguson was averaging 46.08 for and had scored five half-centuries when he suffered the 2009 knee injury which severely stalled his international career. Since then, he has only played five one-dayers for , most recently in April 2011.

Over the past two-and-a-half seasons in the Sheffield Shield the right-hander has made six centuries, including a career-best 213, and has averaged 53.69, results which warranted consideration by national selectors for the Test debut that he strongly aspires to.

“We’re just so incredibly disappointed and really feel for Callum right now, but he’s still got plenty of cricket ahead of him and we look forward to helping him back to full fitness,” said Tim Nielsen, SA’s general manager of high performance.

“Callum has been in fantastic form this year in both the Matador Cup and Sheffield Shield, coming off an outstanding double-century a few weeks ago. He’s an important part of our Redbacks squad. Our main concern right now is that he gets the treatment and rehabilitation he needs.”

As Ferguson returns home to Adelaide, the Renegades will depart for Brisbane, a day early because Saker wants to hold a bonding session for the team.

“I have a friend who has a nice house on the Brisbane River and he’s putting a barbecue on for us. I did it a few times with the English team,” the coach said. “It will be good to get together. We’ll have a few meetings about tactics. But it’s more just about getting to meet each other and do training sessions together.”

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