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Injured Pattinson won't be rushed in BBL

AAP logoAAP 21/12/2016 Michael Ramsey

Fragile paceman James Pattinson won't be rushed back from his latest injury setback, Melbourne Renegades captain Aaron Finch says.

Pattinson is expected to miss two BBL games, including Thursday night's season-opener against the Sydney Thunder, after suffering a mild hamstring strain.

The 26-year-old had hoped to use the BBL campaign as a stepping stone in his return to national duties.

"We're disappointed for Patto but I think it's in the best interests of him and Australian cricket to make sure that we treat him with a bit of care, and make sure that he gets back on the park for Australia more than anything else," Finch said on Wednesday.

"I'm not exactly sure on the timeframe but they're probably going to take a little bit of extra care with this.

"He's had a fair layoff. He's been disappointed with missing so much cricket but at the end of the day, if he's back up and firing for Australia sooner rather than later, it's a good thing."

Australian coach Darren Lehmann is eager for Pattinson and fellow injury-prone quick Pat Cummins to line up alongside Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood in the Test side for next summer's Ashes series.

Pattinson was sidelined for most of this year with leg and back injuries but had been bowling at full pace in the nets prior to his latest injury.

Veteran paceman Nathan Rimmington and emerging quick Chris Tremain have each been named in the Renegades 13-man squad to face the Thunder at Etihad Stadium, alongside star allrounder Dwayne Bravo.

Former Perth Scorchers tweaker Brad Hogg and quality West Indian offspinner Sunil Narine are also set to make their Renegades debuts as the side looks to break their four-year BBL finals drought.

The Thunder were thrashed by the Sydney Sixers in their season-opener on Tuesday but Finch won't be taking the defending champions lightly.

"I thought that they showed some real glimpses of what won them the title last year," Finch said.

"We're confident going into it. We know they've got a lot of great players, though. They've got some firepower with the bat, some pace with the ball and spin with Fawad (Ahmed) there as well. We're going to have to be right on top of our game."

The Thunder will again be without Usman Khawaja (Test duty) and Shane Watson (calf injury) but have several stars at their disposal, including Cummins, West Indian allrounder Andre Russell and England limited-overs skipper Eoin Morgan.

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