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Pace ace Pat Cummins ready to take baby steps back towards the big time

Pace bowler Pat Cummins' comeback from the stress fractures that forced him to miss the summer will begin this week when he takes the first of what's literally many "baby steps" – running a series of 20m sprints.

Cummins has been out of action since last September when he was ruled out of Australia's ill-fated tour of Bangladesh with a stress fracture in his back. It was the latest of a series of injuries that have plagued his young career, adding to a similar problem that wrote off his entire 2012-13 summer.

Howzat: Pat Cummins is on the road to recovery.
Howzat: Pat Cummins is on the road to recovery. Photo: AP

The 22-year-old, who was named man-of-the-match in his only Test as an 18-year-old, has proved his resilience by fighting back from each setback and told Fairfax Media he welcomed what would be a long rehabilitation program aimed at allowing for him to bowl his 150 km/h fireballs.

"It's very tame running to start with, 20m jog/walks, then there'll be 50-60m sprints for at least two or three weeks before it becomes unrestricted," Cummins said.  "It's good because it's a progressive step and I'll be bowling in the nets a month or two after that.

"Of course it's frustrating, but the good thing is it's getting there ... it's progressing as well as everyone hoped and it shouldn't affect me once I return from it."

While there were initially hopes Cummins would add his fire and brimstone to Australia's World Twenty20 bowling attack, he said if all goes according to plan he might be back in time to push for selection in the national one-day team's tour to the West Indies or the Australia A team, both of which will be playing in June.

"I'm going to miss the summer," he said. "I don't think I'll play in the Indian Premier League but I'd like to try and be available for the one-dayers in the Caribbean in June or the Aussie A team but our priority is to focus on getting it right."

Cummins, who has played 18 one-dayers and 15 Twenty20 matches for Australia, described the fine-tuning of his action as something that's necessary for most pacemen.

"I think it's always a work in progress," he said. "Brett Lee said when he was 36 and 37 he was still trying to perfect his action.

"I was quite happy with my run-up and my approach with my old action – I thought it got me in a good position – I probably need to just look at trying to tweak it, though.

"I need to get a little bit more efficient with my action ... a little bit tight  ... but I think I've done most of the hard work in changing my run-up and approach from what it was a couple of years ago."

Cummins said he looked towards Australia's opening bowler, James Pattinson, as a peer who had successfully overcome similar problems to his after fine-tuning his technique.

"Initially it can be a little bit frustrating trying to get used to where your arms and legs are but I thought finding my run-up and my rhythm allowed for me to bowl faster," said Cummins on being forced to remodel his action as a result of the stress fractures.

"I felt I could run-in faster and be in a better position more consistently, and that's probably one of the most promising things and it's the same with Jimmy Pattinson ... it does take a couple of months to rebuild; to get your confidence and rhythm back but once you do it's normally a better result."

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