Steve Smith is making progress but will likely run out of time to be fit for Headingley.
Steve Smith is making progress but will likely run out of time to be fit for Headingley.

Alert Smith ’feeling good’ but time not on his side

STEVE Smith was playing cards on the team bus as they made the four-hour journey from London to Leeds.

The star batsman, who become the first player subbed out of a Test with concussion at Lord's also reported he was feeling much better 24 hours after waking up with a feeling of "grogginess".

He underwent what will become a daily concussion Test before the team left London and will need to continue to show no symptoms before he is even allowed to walk laps at training.

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Smith is in a race against time to be ready for the start of Thursday's third Ashes Test with opinion divided about the Cricket Australia concussion policy which doesn't mandate a specific time away from the game after a diagnosis.

Instead the CA policy calls for "ongoing assessment" from team doctor Richard Saw who has the final say on whether Smith can take part in any activity.

He will be tested again daily, before and again after any training he is allowed to do, but has only Tuesday and Wednesday to get in the nets to face the bowling he needs to be passed fit.

Generally accepted medical guidelines require a five-day break after a concussion diagnosis, which would rule Smith out of the Test.

Smith is still recovering after being struck on the neck at Lord's.
Smith is still recovering after being struck on the neck at Lord's.

After arriving in Leeds, vice-captain Travis Head said Smith was in "good spirits" but that was no guarantee he was ready to play.

"I saw him this morning and he said he was feeling much better so that is a positive," Head said.

"I think the doc has been doing a fantastic job so far on tour with everyone. He had a busy week and I know he was looking after him pretty well, he is in good hands.

"So hopefully, in the next couple of days he is able to rest up and comes good and it is just that process he has to go through.

"But he seemed in good spirits today on the bus, he is playing cards again and is himself. It was good to see."