Alyssa Haley confirms ‘bloody’ dog bite incident; Optimistic for a full recovery

Alyssa Haley confirms ‘bloody’ dog bite incident;  Optimistic for a full recovery

The wicketkeeper-batsman will have a clearer indication of her way back after another meeting with the surgeon later this week

Andrew McGlashan

Alyssa Healey underwent surgery on Saturday and now faces a long recovery Getty Images

Alyssa Healey has confirmed she suffered a severe dog bite to her right index finger on Saturday night, and admitted she feared for her career in the immediate aftermath of the incident, but hopes she can make a full recovery although the timeline for that remains uncertain.

Healy was trying to separate her two Staffordshire Bull Terriers, Misty and Millie, when she suffered the injury which has now left her a doubt for the rest of the Sydney Sixers’ WBBL Championship and possibly Australia’s tour to India in December. She had surgery on Sunday morning and will have a clearer indication of her recovery time after another meeting with the surgeon on Thursday.

“I have two little dogs that were rough and tumble, they got a little more than that and unfortunately I put my hand in the wrong place at the wrong time,” Healy said. “My right index finger was hit pretty hard. It was very bloody…the positive side of it is that the surgery went well.”

Initial indications are that there is no bone or tendon damage which may be more concerning. “This is probably the best possible news,” she said. “There was an artery involved which made it look more like a crime scene than it should have, but the main important things that would take time to come back were not affected.

“I’m not going to lie, when I first took my finger out, I thought I was in a struggle, but everything has gone smoothly at the moment. I think it will all come back to work and whether I can continue to hold the racket like that. I need to, or catch the ball “But from all reports, and it’s really early, everything is very positive.”

Hailey added that after the initial shock of the incident, she now feels more positive about the diagnosis.

“I’m not too bad about it,” she said. “These things happen. Dayne van Niekerk hurt herself cutting an avocado with the Sixers, so we haven’t had a lot of luck with home incidents for the Sixers. I’m really optimistic about this. I’ll take the opportunity to get some rest while I can.” It’s not ideal and I was looking forward to the WBBL and contributing in a big way to the Sixers. “I’ve got a break now to do that to support them and get things right, whether that’s at the end of the season or a big summer down the road.”

Speaking after the Sixers’ defeat to the Sydney Thunder on Sunday, captain Ellyse Perry acknowledged the impact of Healy’s injury.

“It’s a huge blow,” she said. “It’s not just a blow for us, it’s a blow for the tournament, because she is one of the most exciting and exciting players in the world.

“It has been fantastic to play in the competition for the last nine years. Whenever a player like this is out for a period of time, it will be a blow.

“For our group, she’s a huge presence. She’s fun, she’s a big personality, and she’s the lifeblood of the team. No matter how long we miss her, it’s going to be frustrating. We’re just thinking about her and hoping she stays that way.” “It will get better soon.”

Depending on Healy’s recovery timeline, this could create the need for a new Australia captain if she is not available for India’s multi-format tour in December. Meg Lanning has not yet confirmed whether she will be available for the trip and Hailey was her replacement this year. If both Lanning and Healy are unavailable, Tahlia McGrath will be the favorite to take on the role given she has twice captained Australia in India and Ireland.

The Sixers are yet to replace Healy in their WBBL squad, and a decision on that will likely be made once the recovery timeline is confirmed later this week.

Andrew McGlashan is deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo

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