A blow to the head has again forced promising Victorian batsman Will Pucovski out of a Sheffield Shield match while also raising initial concern for bowler Sean Abbott.
Pucovski, 20, ducked into a shortish ball from NSW paceman Abbott and dropped to his knees after being hit on the side of the helmet while batting during the middle session on day two at Junction Oval in Melbourne.
Abbott and others rushed to assist Pucovski, who was able to walk from the field with the help of medical staff.
Pucovksi has a history of concussions - reportedly seven in the past five years - and missed three months of cricket when struck in the head in his first-class debut last summer.
Abbott was left visibly distressed by the incident and Cricket Australia website reported it took him some time to compose himself as teammates rallied around.
It came more than three years after he bowled the ball that struck Phillip Hughes on the neck and led to his death.
Victoria captain Aaron Finch, who replaced the retired Pucovski at the crease, also went to Abbott to offer his support and encouragement, and the bowler saw out his over and also bowled a further seven overs in the day.
"It was pretty sad to see that happen," said Finch.
"He (Pucovski) came back to normal pretty quickly, and that was really good to see. I know there have been times when he was taken a while to do so.
"It was very scary. With his history of head knocks and with what happened to Hughesy a few years ago, it is never nice to see anyone get hit.
Pucovski was assessed in the dressing rooms and substituted out of the match under new rules for concussion injuries, to be replaced by allrounder Dan Christian.
"Will Pucovski remained at the ground following the incident and is being treated by Cricket Victoria's medical staff," said Cricket Victoria doctor Trefor James.
"Will has been ruled out of the remainder of the match and we will continue to monitor him over the coming days, and we can then determine a return to play plan for him."
His injury on Sunday took the shine off a resolute showing for Victoria, who found themselves on top despite a poor first day's play.
At stumps, Victoria had reached 5-156 for a handy lead of 184 runs on a bowler-friendly pitch.
Victoria opener Travis Dean anchored the innings with a gritty 64 not out, while Glenn Maxwell added a typically hard-hitting 33 before he was dismissed by Abbott (1-26).
Australian Associated Press