YORKSHIRE leg-spinner Josh Poysden does not expect to return to cricket next year wearing a protective face mask after suffering a fractured skull in the Emerald Headingley nets last week.

Poysden, 27, was ruled out for the rest of the season after he was struck in the head by a ball while giving throw downs to team-mate Dom Bess indoors last Monday.

The former Warwickshire bowler was accompanied to hospital that evening by Yorkshire physio Kunwar Bansil and their assistant strength and conditioning coach Pete Sim, also his housemate, before being transferred to the neurology unit at Leeds General Infirmary after a CT scan revealed the damage.

In New Zealand, Otago seamer Warren Barnes first used a protective face and head mask in late 2017.

Barnes has a unique action which means he takes his eyes off the ball in his follow through, making him particularly susceptible to a ball hit straight back at him, as Bess did.

“I haven’t thought about that,” said Poysden.

“I would expect when I do come back, it will just be a case of getting on with it. It was a freak accident and has never happened to me before in my career.

“Having spoken to the doctors, it doesn’t seem as if there’s anything long-term to worry about.”

After finishing bowling practice outdoors last Monday, the day before Yorkshire played Leicestershire at the Fischer County Ground in the Vitality Blast, Poysden went to the indoor nets to do some batting. But, with Bess batting before him, he started throwing up some off-spinners to his team-mate.

Poysden takes up the story: “He whacked one straight back at me, and it was a freak accident.

“It was a decent clatter to the side of the head. I hit the floor and was in a bit of pain, but it was nothing too bad. I didn’t lose consciousness and was back on my feet within a couple of minutes.”

After that, Poysden failed a concussion test and was sick at Headingley and again at home before being accompanied to hospital by Bansil and Sim at around 8pm.

A CT scan confirmed a fractured skull, internal bleeding and bruising on the brain, which meant he was transferred to the neurology unit at Leeds General Infirmary (LGI) at approximately 4am on Tuesday. He stayed there for the next 36 hours under observation before being discharged.

“Everyone at the club’s been amazing,” he said.

“All the lads have either been to visit or have messaged me. I’ve been getting messages from people all throughout the club - the office staff. Mark Arthur’s been on the phone and Andrew Gale, as has Martyn Moxon, who came to visit as well.

“Ku and Pete were outstanding in how they dealt with it, their professionalism. All the staff at LGI, too, were outstanding.

“Dom was concerned, obviously, when it happened. And he’s been messaging me and came to see me in hospital. I hope he doesn’t have any guilt because I certainly don’t hold it against him.”

Poysden, who is not allowed to drive at the moment, was told he would have to deal with concussion like symptoms for six weeks and must avoid the chance of a double impact injury for three months.

“That takes us to the end of October,” he added.

“I was hoping to go away for the whole winter to New Zealand, but that might have to be adjusted.

“When we go back in November for training, I’ll ease into it with the medical staff around and maybe go away after that because I’ll be ready to play some cricket by then.

“It’s frustrating because I was looking forward to the T20s, but it could have been a lot worse.”

Poysden’s injury has also prompted members of the coaching staff to wearing helmets whilst offering throw downs to batsmen.

Meanwhile, Yorkshire, who have so far won one, lost two and had two no results, return to Blast action on Friday against Worcestershire Rapids at Emerald Headingley. They also host Poysden’s former side Birmingham Bears on Sunday, a fixture which he plans to attend.

Adil Rashid should play and be available for the rest of the Blast.