April 30, 2019 / 12:00 PM / in 19 days

Australia's Smith plays down elbow scare ahead of World Cup

FILE PHOTO: Steve Smith bats during his game at the GT20 Cricket Tournament in King City, Ontario, Canada, June 28, 2018. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri/File Photo

(Reuters) - Steve Smith said his elbow was fine after landing on it heavily despite still recovering from surgery, as he prepares for his final Indian Premier League (IPL) game of the season before joining Australia’s World Cup squad.

Rajasthan Royals captain Smith took a brilliant diving catch to dismiss compatriot David Warner, but in the process gave the Australian camp a scare when he appeared to injure his elbow again.

He received medical treatment and returned to bat as the Royals chased down the target to beat Sunrisers Hyderabad with five balls to spare.

“I just landed on it quite heavily, more heavily than I had landed on it previously,” Smith told reporters ahead of his side’s game against the Royal Challengers Bangalore on Tuesday.

Former Australian captain Smith underwent an operation in January to repair a ligament in his right elbow while he was serving his 12-month international ban for ball tampering that ended last month.

“From the surgery I have still got some scar tissue and stuff in there, and just the impact of the landing affected it a little bit. But there is nothing wrong with it - all good.”

The 29-year-old has shown signs of returning to his best with two fifties in his last four innings for the Royals in the IPL.

“The start of the tournament did not go as well as I would have liked,” he said. “But I think the more I have padded up, the better I have felt as the tournament has gone on. I’ve been able to contribute to a couple of wins in the last two matches and felt very good.”

Smith said he is not yet able to throw with full force and has had to take close fielding positions in the IPL this season, although that aspect of his game is fast improving.

Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Hugh Lawson

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