CRICKET: Nic Maddinson will make his return to cricket next week for the NSW second XI and has made himself available for the Blues' next Sheffield Shield game.
The recently dropped Test No.6 had taken indefinite leave following the Big Bash due to personal reasons, and has missed NSW's past two matches.
There were fears Maddinson may miss the rest of the season, but he has been back training with the Blues this week and is also up for the IPL auction on Monday.
Maddinson's last action was in the magenta of the Sydney Sixers in BBL.
Teammates have spoken of Maddinson's time out of the game, and indications suggest he felt the need to take a break as a result of the pressure and scrutiny he found himself under in what was a roller-coaster summer.
No one expected Maddinson to be called up for a Test debut, but three matches later it was all over and he was dropped for the SCG Test.
Maddinson will fly to Western Australia for the second XI match starting on Monday and could then play for NSW in its Shield match against Tasmania in Wollongong starting on February 23.
There is no guarantee Maddinson would walk straight back into the NSW team given the Blues' top order has been firing in recent weeks.
NSW teammate Gurinder Sandhu said it was a major boost to have Maddinson back in action.
"It's great to have him on our side, that's for sure," he said.
"He is a batsman who can take the game away from the opposition.
"It's been great to see him back training with the Blues and back around cricket.
"I think if he's back that means he's enjoying cricket, which is the main thing because it is a sport that is meant to be fun and to be enjoyed."