Warner, Smith close to Shield returns
NSW are upbeat about the prospects of injured superstars David Warner and Steve Smith returning this week.
Warner played Australia's third and fourth Tests against India, having missed the opening half of the series because of a restrictive groin injury he suffered at the start of the summer.
The aggressive opener, who is still recovering from that setback, hasn't represented his state since the four-Test series ended on January 19.
Smith was a notable omission from NSW's XI for their Sheffield Shield clash with Victoria at Bankstown Oval, which finished in a draw on Sunday.
The gun batsman is managing an arm injury that bothered him during the Test series.
The Blues will soon travel to Adelaide, where they face South Australia in Thursday's one-dayer then a Shield match that begins on Saturday.
"We'll have to see what the medical experts say," NSW skipper Peter Nevill said.
"That (Smith's injury) is a bit of a niggly one.
"Depending on how it's responded to having a bit of time off here, hopefully that's done what it needed to do and he can get back playing."
Warner has declared on Twitter he will return on Thursday.
"I'd love to see him around again. He's been around at training, his usual bubbly self," Nevill said.
"It'd be great to have him back in the team playing."
Test quicks Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc will continue to be managed carefully in coming weeks as they seek to help the defending Shield champions reach the final.
"They've mapped out the games they're going to be playing. There's nothing too strenuous in there," Nevill said.
"The balance of our team - having five bowlers with Sean Abbott playing a really good role at No.7 with the bat - allows us to do that and make sure we're not getting too many overs into too many people."
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