Australia’s Pattinson set to return after long injury break

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) Australia test fast bowler James Pattinson will end a 12-month absence from first-class cricket when he plays for Victoria against South Australia in a Sheffield Shield match starting Friday.

Pattinson hasn’t played a long-form match since injuring his back on Australia’s tour to New Zealand last February.

The 26-year-old paceman says he feels fit and is focused on regaining his test place before the next Ashes series starts in November.

Pattinson says ”I’ve had that taste of test cricket and it’s what drives you through the hard times. I’d love to be fit and ready to go for the Ashes next summer.”

Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood led the Australian pace attack in recent test series against South Africa and Pakistan, with three different quicks used as backup.