Australia batsman Steve Smith hopes to be fit for the third Ashes Test after playing no part on the final day of the second Test at Lord’s with concussion.
Smith retired hurt on 80 on Saturday after being hit on the neck by a Jofra Archer bouncer, but passed concussion tests and returned to make 92.
He will be assessed before the match at Headingley starts on Thursday.
“It’s certainly an area of concern, concussion, and I want to be 100% fit,” 30-year-old Smith said.
“[It is] certainly up to the medical staff and we’ll have conversations.”
On Sunday evening, Cricket Australia said a “precautionary scan” of Smith’s neck “cleared him of any structural damage”. It added that he would be “reviewed on an ongoing basis.”
Smith was ruled out of the fifth day after further tests on Sunday morning showed “some deterioration”, according to Cricket Australia.
“With the tests that I’ve done and how I’ve woken up today, I think it’s the right decision,” Smith said.
“I’d obviously love to be out there trying to keep performing and try and help Australia win another Test match, but I think the right decision has been made.
“I’ll obviously be monitored very closely over the next few days with a pretty quick turnaround in between Test matches and I’m hopeful that I can make a recovery and be OK for that.”
‘It will be hard to stop Smithy walking out’
Smith was replaced by Marnus Labuschagne, who became Test cricket’s first concussion substitute and made 59 as Australia survived a tense final evening to claim a draw and preserve their 1-0 series lead.
Under Cricket Australia’s concussion protocol, there is no minimum amount of time a player must wait before playing again, although a statement said the “short turnaround to the next Test is not in his favour”.
Skipper Tim Paine said: “Marnus came in and batted as well as anyone did in the Test match, so we’ve got him up our sleeves.
“We’ve got Marcus Harris who is ready to go, but I reckon it will be pretty hard to stop Smithy walking out next week.”
Smith, player of the match after making 144 and 142 in Australia’s first-Test win at Edgbaston, is third in the International Cricket Council Test batting rankings.
As well as having his fitness assessed on a continuing basis, Smith will also have a scan on his neck on Sunday.
Smith was struck just below the left ear by a 92mph delivery during a sustained spell of hostile bowling from England debutant Archer, who touched speeds of 96mph.
Former captain Smith wanted to continue batting, but left the field for medical tests – which he passed – allowing him to resume his innings 40 minutes later.
When he returned, he appeared to be rattled, first swiping at Chris Woakes, before offering no stroke to be lbw to the same bowler.
Speaking on Saturday evening, Australia coach Justin Langer said it was Smith’s decision to continue batting and it was made with him having satisfied all medical criteria.
In confirming that Smith had been ruled out of the match, Cricket Australia said it was not uncommon for players to pass initial tests, only to display symptoms of concussion between 24 and 48 hours later.
“Steve was closely monitored by medical staff overnight,” read a statement. “This morning he reported after sleeping well he woke with ‘a bit of a headache and a feeling of grogginess’.”