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Pattinson to build into Shield season

Former Test quick James Pattinson concedes he won’t be at peak fitness when he returns from injury for Victoria in the Sheffield Shield clash with NSW, starting on Friday.

Pattinson has been cleared to play at the MCG after missing last week’s season-opening win over the Blues in Sydney.

The sides are set to face off for a third time at the SCG later this month as interstate travel restrictions continue to affect the Shield fixture.

Pattinson, who called time on his international career last month after an interrupted build-up to the summer, will bolster a Victoria pace attack that was led superbly by Scott Boland last time out.

It will be the 31-year-old’s first match since announcing his decision to abandon plans to push for an Ashes call-up, instead focusing on Victoria and Melbourne Renegades duties.

“I suppose the good thing for me is I know that my 80 per cent at domestic level is good enough, so I’ll probably ease into it and see how the body is (for) these first two games,” Pattinson said.

“I’ll try to creep the intensity up during Big Bash … and then see how I’m going with the back-end of the Shield season, but I think these two games is just about getting a little bit of rhythm.

“I haven’t bowled a heap of balls this pre-season, so it will just be about finding my feet a little bit and building up to some sort of intensity.

“I’m there or thereabouts and comfortable where I’m at.

“They’ll probably still come out reasonably well.

“It won’t be 150 (kmh), but it will be decent.”

Pattinson confirmed reports he will line up for English county Nottinghamshire as an overseas player next year before returning to Victoria and the Renegades.

The injury-riddled right-armer is undecided on what the future holds beyond the 2022-23 season.

“I just need to work out what my body can handle in terms of playing (all year round),” Pattinson said.

Victoria were again unable to call on Will Pucovski for the NSW clash as the young batting star continues to battle mild concussion symptoms.

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