GUN Queanbeyan batsman Jono Dean will play through the pain of a hip injury as the club gears up for the Douglas Cup two-day finals series.
Dean has missed Queanbeyan’s past two matches after carrying the injury through his Big Bash League campaign with the Adelaide Strikers.
But the 29-year-old opener confirmed earlier this week that he will return for Queanbeyan’s final round clash against Eastlake this weekend.
“The injury hasn’t been ideal but I’ll be back this week against Eastlake and I’ll play through it for the rest of the season just managing it as best I can,” Dean said.
“I’ve been doing some stuff to try and ease the pain a bit but really the only thing that’s going to do it much good is six to eight weeks rest.
“I don’t need surgery on it at this stage but that’s the worst case scenario.”
Dean confirmed he had played with the injury while impressing for the Adelaide Strikers in a couple of quick-fire knocks toward the tail-end of the Big Bash season in January.
Queanbeyan, meanwhile, has already wrapped up top spot on the ladder ahead its final round clash against Eastlake on Saturday.
The Bluebags secured the minor premiership with an outright victory over fourth-placed ANU last weekend. It’s Queanbeyan’s first minor premiership in the two-day competition since the 1991/92 season.
But while the Bluebags’ finals berth is already booked, the minor premiers still have some concerns heading into the post-season.
And Dean will be a welcome addition to Queanbeyan’s line-up against Eastlake with the Bluebags’ top order once again failing to fire against ANU last Saturday.
“We have struggled a bit [at the top of the order] lately but with me being away it has given a few guys an opportunity there who haven’t had that chance before,” he said.
“Hopefully they’ll be better for it because there are going to be times in the future where we’ll need them to step up.”
Dean also said he was uncertain whether younger brother and fellow Big Bash League representative Blake Dean would push himself back up the order for Queanbeyan’s finals campaign.
The Bluebags skipper has been batting himself down the list in recent weeks but the two Dean brothers have previously proved a successful opening partnership.