Glenn Maxwell with West Indies great Brian Lara at the MCG. Picture: Mark Stewart
Glenn Maxwell with West Indies great Brian Lara at the MCG. Picture: Mark Stewart

Pucovski, Maddinson return as Maxfield bides his time

WILL Pucovski and Nic Maddinson will both make their cricketing returns on Friday after mental health breaks but Glenn Maxwell remains sidelined for the time being.

Both Pucovski and Maddinson have been picked in Victoria's squad for this week's Sheffield Shield clash against NSW at the MCG after getting medical clearance to resume playing.

The two star batsmen completed a full training session at the MCG on Wednesday morning and Cricket Victoria general manager Shaun Graf said the pair would continue to be supported.

"We are looking forward to having Nic and Will back playing for Victoria after receiving clearance from our medical staff," he said.

"We'll continue to support all our players through their return to play."

Maxwell, who played club cricket last week nearly a month after stepping away from the game to focus on his mental wellbeing, is yet to return to the nets for the Vics.

He completed a running session on Wednesday but teammate and long-time friend Aaron Finch said there would be no push for Maxwell to return until he was fully ready.

"Him having a hit for his club on the weekend was a really valuable step for him," Finch said.

"It probably took him a little bit more time than he thought it would to get back in to it.

Nic Maddinson (L) with Will Pucovski. Picture: AAP/Scott Barbour
Nic Maddinson (L) with Will Pucovski. Picture: AAP/Scott Barbour

"No doubt it's going to be a gradual process to get back, and whether that's next week, next month or next year, I think it's something that, with the amount of awareness around mental health these days, you have to be mindful of the player making the right decision in their best interest and not trying to rush them back for a particular game or set a defined date on it."

Fast bowler James Pattinson has been named, subject to being released from the Australian Test Squad, to play in the upcoming fixture, and opener Marcus Harris also returns having missed the last Shield match with Australia A duties.

Teen sensation Jake Fraser-McGurk, who made dual half-centuries in his Shield and one-day debuts for the Vics last week won't play against NSW.

The 17-year-old will instead strut his stuff against players his own age in the national under-19 carnival, which begins in Perth next week.

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