Clarke doubtful for Ashes opener following back injury

Monday, November 22, 2010

SYDNEY - Australian vice-captain Michael Clarke is suffering from back soreness and is doubtful for Thursday’s first Ashes Test against England in Brisbane.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, troubled by the chronic injury for most of his Test career, Clarke had aggravated his problem when scoring a Sheffield Shield century for New South Wales against Victoria.

Australia’s team physiotherapist Alex Kountouris confirmed that the 29-year-old missed Monday’s opening three-hour training session at Allan Border Field with a view to being right for net sessions on Tuesday and Wednesday.

“He’s in the process of recovery now (and) part of the plan was for him not to have a bat today and hopefully he’ll be available for the game,” the newspaper quoted Kountouris, as saying.

“I’m reasonably optimistic but until he bats tomorrow and recovers from that that’s when we’ll know how he is. Until he bats tomorrow we can’t be absolutely 100 per cent sure that he’s OK to go,” he added.

When asked to rate Clarke’s chances of playing and getting through the full five days, Kountouris was non-committal.

“We want him 100 per cent fit on Thursday, it doesn’t matter what he is today,” Kountouris said. (ANI)

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