Australia pacer Tayla Vlaeminck has been ruled out of the ongoing women’s Ashes and Cricket World Cup due to a stress fracture in the right foot. Tayla, who missed Saturday’s abandoned second T20I in the women’s Ashes at the Adelaide Oval, was seen wearing a ‘moon boot’.
But on Sunday, scans confirmed the recurrence of the same navicular injury that ruled her out of the victorious 2020 women’s T20 World Cup campaign in Australia and was out of action for 10 months. The 23-year-old had reported pain in right foot during Australia’s first Ashes T20I on Thursday.
“Tayla has sustained an acute navicular stress fracture. She had a similar injury in early 2020; this fracture completely healed and Tayla made a successful return to play international cricket in March 2021. Tayla reported a return in midfoot pain and subsequent images have confirmed a recurrent stress fracture of the navicular," said team doctor Phillipa Inge.
“The Cricket Australia and Cricket Victoria medical teams will work collaboratively on the immediate management over the coming days and a subsequent return to play plan. She will be unavailable for the Ashes series and ODI World Cup," added Phillipa.
Tayla’s stress fracture adds to the injury list of Australia ahead of the women’s Cricket World Cup in New Zealand. Leg-spinner Georgia Wareham has been ruled out till July due to an ACL injury in her left knee while left-arm spinner Sophie Molineux is unavailable for the Ashes due to a stress fracture in her right foot, though it is expected she will recover in time for the World Cup. Beth Mooney has missed the start of the Ashes after suffering a fractured jaw at training but has returned to light training following surgery.
Australia head coach Matthew Mott, speaking to Channel Seven after the third Ashes T20I was abandoned, said, “She’s done a great job getting through to this point. We were always going to look to manage her through. But for it to happen so early in this Ashes campaign, it’s absolutely shattering for her and for the whole group. It was a pretty sombre dressing room last night. I spoke to the group about what it would look like for her and we all went through it before, leading into that T20 World Cup.
“She knows what it’s about, she’s come back before and that’s what we’ve got to hold out hope for. We’ll put our arm around her and do everything we can to build her back up. She’s a young fast bowler and we see it in the men’s game all the time, if you’re going to run in and bowl as fast as you can it’s a dangerous activity. So, we’ll do everything we can to get her back up but it’s a tough couple of days for her, definitely."