Pucovski will miss the opening of the Ashes series against England after his state coach ruled him out of a first-class match in Australia due to another concussion setback. Victoria coach Chris Rogers said on Wednesday that he doesn’t expect Pucovski, 23, to be fit for the Australian test squad until the middle of the Ashes series, which begins on Dec. 8 at the Gabba in Brisbane.

“It’s without a doubt a setback,” Rogers told reporters two days before Victoria’s Sheffield Shield match against New South Wales. He hasn’t recovered as quickly as he had hoped from his concussion. National selectors, according to Rogers, are taking a long-term approach with Pucovski and want to give him time to rehabilitate rather than push him back into domestic cricket. Rogers said there’s no doubt a lot of frustration for him because he wants to be playing. He hasn’t played in seven months, and returning to the cauldron and having to perform against such strong opposition will be extremely difficult. And that, too, would have been on his thoughts.”

Pucovski was named to Australia’s test team in 2019, although he didn’t play in a match until January against India in Sydney when he scored 62 in his first innings before dislocating his right shoulder in a fielding accident. He required surgery and was unable to work for six months as a result. He suffered another concussion after returning to training last month, the tenth of his career, and was still feeling symptoms this week. He obviously wants to play for Australia for a long period, “Rogers remarked. “Because he’s such a brilliant athlete and many people recognise it, there’s a huge desire to get him into the Australian team. We must keep in mind that we want him to have a long and successful career. So some consideration must be given to what is in his best interests and how that will play out.”

Later this week, England players will begin arriving in Australia to begin preparations for the five-test series. They’ll be joined by England players competing in the Twenty20 World Cup in the month. Prior to the Ashes series, Australia is planning an internal probable vs possible trial match on the Gold Coast, around an hour south of Brisbane.