Smith targets return in Ashes tour game
Steve Smith hopes to return from concussion in next week's low-key tour game against Derbyshire, having run out of time in his bid to be fit for the third Ashes Test.
Smith has been ordered to skip the Test that starts on Thursday in a major blow to Australia's hopes of retaining the urn with a victory in Leeds.
The former skipper, who was restricted to walking and shadow batting at Tuesday's session, will be regularly assessed in the coming days as he recovers from a bouncer blow to the neck inflicted by Jofra Archer.
Team doctor Richard Saw has complete control over when Smith is allowed to start stepping things up.
The fourth Test at Old Trafford starts in a fortnight.
But rather than face another Jofra Archer bouncer barrage in his competitive return, Smith is aiming to be ready for a three-day clash in Derby that starts on Thursday week.
"He was probably only a few days off playing in this Test match," coach Justin Langer said.
"It'd be great for him, rather than just doing it in the nets or having throwdowns, to play that practice game. It could work out really well.
"We know what he's like, so look out the Derbyshire bowlers.
"I'm sure if he passes what he has to go through he'll be right to play that game."
Langer and counterpart Trevor Bayliss agreed Smith will leave an immense void for Australia to cover.
However, there was no glee from England's dressing room about the frightening circumstances that led to Smith's withdrawal.
Especially from Bayliss, the former NSW and Sydney Sixers coach who mentored Smith at the early stage of his career.
Bayliss, like so many at Lord's last Saturday, immediately thought of Phillip Hughes' tragic death when Smith hit the deck.
"I went up to their medical room to check on him when he came off," Bayliss said.
"It's something you never like to see and certainly brought flashbacks from that NSW v South Australia game a few years ago, when Hughesy got hit.
"Just glad to see him get to his feet. Hopefully he's right and able to play in the next match."
© AAP 2019