Clarke, Pattinson serious doubts for Gabba

Australia

Australia fans best prepare themselves for bad news for the first Ashes Test in Brisbane, as skipper Michael Clarke says he has no idea how long his recovery from a back injury will take, and there are 'no guarantees' he'll be fit in time.

Australia fans best prepare themselves for bad news for the first Ashes Test in Brisbane, as skipper Michael Clarke says he has no idea how long his recovery from a back injury will take, and there are 'no guarantees' he'll be fit in time.

The batsman's chronic lower back problem flared up again during the tour to England, and he has already been ruled out of the tour to India this month. He has since confirmed that while he is working hard to be fit for the Ashes, it's not looking as good as he'd like.

Clarke said: "There's certainly no guarantee at this stage. It's hard for me to say that because I'm trying my best not to look at it like that. I'm always positive and if they ask me, I'll say I'll be fit in a week's time.

"But you ask (physio) Alex who knows me very well, and he'd say there'd be doubt I won't be right. Making sure I'm doing everything I can to give myself the best chance … plenty of rehab and recovery getting strength back in the areas that support my back.

"It's a lot of hard work but I'm willing to do the work to make sure I'm right for that first Test. Where I sit right now is I don't know when I'll be back playing cricket. We have no idea how long it's going to take.

"But in Australia I've got the physio in Sydney I've been working with since I was 17, I've got the machine, the medics machine that's helped me stay on the park for as long as I have through my career, and I'm in consistent contact with Alex Kountouris who will fly back and forth from Melbourne to Sydney to see me and make sure I'm improving."

Clarke added that he would ideally like to be playing some Sheffield Shield cricket before the Ashes, as being in the middle work far better for him than the nets, but it all depended on being mobile enough.

He said: "My best preparation has always been to play cricket and score runs doesn't matter what form of the game. If I'm playing games of cricket and performing that helps me take it into one day cricket or test cricket.

"I probably train harder than what you have to do in game so playing is probably easier for me mentally and physically with the work that goes into it."

As for James Pattinson, who had to be sent home from the Ashes in England, his recovery has not been going nearly as well as he'd hoped, and he doubts he'll be ready for anything before the third Test at the WACA.

The paceman admitted: "I'm not even running yet which is not great. I get a scan in two weeks time which is a 12 week scan to determine whether the fracture has healed or not.

"Go from there, get results back from scan start running, should be fine. My back feels fine at the moment, I have no pain. Just a bit of a long process. I'm probably a month off bowling.

"I won't be back for the first Test, don't think I'll be right for the second … but all things going well I could push for that WACA Test. If it's a bit green we could play four quicks up there, but I'll know more when I start bowling.

"I'm probably rushing a bit if I'm trying to get back for that first Test and last thing I want is for that to happen again and push my body too far and it's hard enough going through it once without going through it again. Long term is where I'm looking."

Latest