CRICKET: Peter Nevill's Big Bash League season is officially over, with the Melbourne Renegades keeper suffering a freak facial injury.
The dumped Test player was felled by a bat while wicketkeeping during Monday's win over the Adelaide Strikers and went to hospital for x-rays on a suspected broken jaw.
Scans revealed he had suffered a burst blood vessel in his cheek, ruling him out of the Renegades' last regular-season game and the finals if they make it.
The Renegades need to win their match against the Brisbane Heat on Friday to make the finals and will have to do so with a replacement keeper, with Matthew Wade unavailable because of Australia duty.
With Brad Hodge facing Sri Lankan medium-pacer Thisara Perera, Nevill was keeping without a helmet - but not up at the stumps.
When Perera dropped short, Hodge swung hard - too hard - and lost his grip on the bat, which incredibly flew directly behind the stumps and clattered into Nevill.
Nevill kept his eye on the ball, and was caught completely unawares when the bat handle hit him on the side of the face.
"My goodness, I didn't see that, I was watching the ball. That's unbelievable,” Mark Waugh said in Channel Ten commentary. "I've never seen that happen.”
"That's nasty,” Australian coach Darren Lehmann added.
After a nervous wait, Nevill was able to walk from the ground - after handing over his keeping gear to skipper Aaron Finch - but with significant swelling to the right-hand side of his face.
"I tried to hit it as far as I possibly could and the bat just came out,” Hodge told reporters after the game.
"It's pretty disappointing. I'm good friends with Pete and you never want to see someone get injured, no way.
"I have never seen anything like it at all. I have seen things where bats have gone flying but never hit anyone.”
Hodge had swapped batting gloves just before the incident.
"If you have brand new gloves they have got like this powdery feel to it and it (the bat) just slipped straight out of my hands,” Hodge said.
"I tried to grab it and hold on to it - if I had of just let it go it probably would have gone out to square leg, but I sort of just tugged it round and it hit him right in the side of the jaw.”
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