Steve Smith continues to battle elbow injury and his return to cricket is unknown

Steve Smith’s return to cricket remains up in the air as he continues to be limited by an elbow injury that could sideline him until the Indian Premier League begins.

The number two Test batsman in the world, Smith was again left out of the NSW squad for a one-day game against Western Australia on Sunday and team officials don’t know when he’ll be available again.

Smith made a century for the Blues in a one-day game last month, then played a Sheffield Shield game but pulled out of the next match after feeling pain in his elbow.

Steve Smith might not play in Australia again this season.Source:Getty Images

He conceded it had been troubling him for some time, and while he travelled to Adelaide with his teammates last week to keep up his rehab, he’s still feeling pain.

Smith had hoped to be back by now, and with his departure for the IPL, which begins on April 10, imminent, he may not play again until then.

“I have had some pain in my elbow that’s gradually worsened since the Test against India at the SCG and it requires some rest and rehab,” Smith said when the injury resurfaced.

“We will have to see how it responds to treatment.”

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Smith was given a $2.1m pay cut for this year’s IPL after being released by the Rajasthan Royals, where he was also captain.

He was picked up by the Delhi Capitals for this season for just $389,000, well short of his $2.5m deal at the Royals.

He’ll be one of several NSW players headed to India for the tournament, including David Warner, one-day captain Pat Cummins and Moises Henriques.

Test fast bowler Mitch Starc has been rested for Sunday, with Australian teammate Josh Hazlewood brought in as NSW rotates bowlers through a hectic schedule.

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