Alyssa Healy confirms ‘gory’ dog bite accident; hopeful of full recovery

Alyssa Healy has confirmed that she suffered a severe dog bite to her right index finger on Saturday night, and admitted that in the immediate aftermath of the accident she feared for her career, but is hopeful she will be able to make a full recovery although the timeline of that remains uncertain.

Healy was trying to separate her two Staffordshire bull terriers puppies, Misty and Millie, when she suffered the injury which has now put her in doubt for the rest of the WBBL for Sydney Sixers and potentially Australia’s tour to India in December. She had surgery on Sunday morning and will have a clearer indication of the recovery time after another meeting with the surgeon on Thursday.

“I’ve got two puppy dogs who were having a rough and tumble, it got a little more than that and unfortunately got my hand in the wrong place at the wrong time,” Healy said. “My right index finger took a bit of a battering. It was quite gory‚Ķthe positive side of it is that the surgery all went well.”

The initial indications are that there was no bone or tendon damage which would have been more of a concern. “That’s probably the best news possible,” she said. “There was an artery involved which probably made it look more like a crime scene than it needed to be, but the major important things that will take time in coming back weren’t affected.

“Won’t lie, when I pulled my finger out initially, I thought I was in strife, but it’s all gone smoothly at the moment. Think it will all just come down to function and whether I can continue to grip the bat the way I need to, or catch the ball, but from all reports, which is really early, is that it’s all pretty positive.”

Healy added that after the initial shock of the incident she was now feeling more positive about the prognosis.

“I’m not too bad about it,” she said. “These things happen. Dane van Niekerk cut herself cutting an avocado with the Sixers, so we haven’t had much luck with household accidents for the Sixers. I’m really optimistic about it. I’ll take the opportunity to have a rest while I can. It’s not ideal and I was looking forward to the WBBL and contributing significantly for the Sixers. I’ve been given a break now to do that to support them and get myself right, whether it’s for the back end of the season or a big summer ahead.”

Speaking after Sixers’ defeat to Sydney Thunder on Sunday, captain Ellyse Perry acknowledged the impact of Healy’s injury.

“It’s a huge blow,” she said. “It’s not just a blow for us, it’s a blow for the tournament, because she’s one of the most exciting and mercurial players in the world.

“It’s been wonderful to have her playing in the competition over the last nine years. Whenever a player like that’s missing for a period of time, it’s going to be a blow.

“For our group, she’s a huge presence. She’s fun, she’s a big character, and the lifeblood of the team. For however long we miss her for, it’s going to be a bummer. We’re just thinking of her and hope she gets better soon.”

Depending on the timeline for Healy’s recovery, it could create the need for a new Australia captain if she is unavailable for the multiformat India tour in December. Meg Lanning has yet to confirm if she will be available for the trip and Healy has been her understudy this year. If both Lanning and Healy were unavailable, Tahlia McGrath would be a frontrunner to take the role given she has twice captained Australia in India and Ireland.

Sixers have not yet replaced Healy in their WBBL squad with a decision on that likely to be taken once her recovery timeline is confirmed later this week.

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