Steve Smith was back in the nets on Saturday with a view to returning to action for Australia ahead of the fourth Ashes Test.
Earlier this week, Australia’s star batsman was ruled out of the third Test at Headingley having suffered a concussion when a Jofra Archer bouncer struck him in the neck during his first knock at Lord’s.
Smith left the field following the blow in the second Test and though he returned to complete his innings later, he displayed concussion symptoms on the Sunday and was unable to bat second time around.
The 30-year-old has remained in Leeds around the Australia camp and he took his first significant step towards a return to action prior to play on day three, facing throwdowns in the nets, performing shuttle runs on the outfield and throwing balls to fielding coach Brad Haddin.
Cricket Australia explained Smith did not “face anything remotely fast or above waist height” and termed the session “a gentle hit-out”.
Smith will need to pass assessments and face fast bowling before he can be cleared to make a comeback.
Australia have a three-day tour game against Derbyshire next week before they meet England in the fourth Ashes Test at Old Trafford, starting on September 4.
Smith has scored 378 runs in his three Ashes innings so far at an average of 126.