Hughes called up, Johnson nursing rib injury

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The left-handed Phil Hughes has replaced the right-handed Michael Clarke in Australia’s squad for next month’s ODI series against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates.

Clarke has been sidelined by a recurring hamstring injury. He aggravated the grievance during the recent tri-series with Zimbabwe and South Africa at the Harare Sports Club.

“Since returning to Australia Michael has had a series of investigations that have confirmed a significant hamstring injury. Importantly, the scans have demonstrated tendon damage which complicates the recovery from this injury,” said Cricket Australia Physiotherapist Alex Kountouris.

“As such, he will not recover in time to be available for the ODI series in the UAE. We are hopeful that he will be available for the Test series but this will be determined at a date closer to the first Test.”

Hughes was a late replacement for the injured Shane Watson in Harare, too. He scored two half-centuries in a tournament that saw the Aussies lose to the South Africans in the final.

The Pakistanis and Australians will meet for a one-off Twenty20 International, three ODIs and two Tests – in Sharjah, Dubai and Abu Dhabi – between 5 October and 3 November.

Fast bowler Mitchell Johnson, meanwhile, is nursing a hurt rib. Johnson was due to play for the Kings XI Punjab in this week’s Champions League Twenty20 in India. His participation, however, has since become doubtful.

“Mitch had some rib pain during the recent ODI tour of Zimbabwe. Since returning to Australia, he has had some scans that have confirmed some irritation of the tip of the rib,” added Kountouris.

“He has had a break from bowling since returning to Australia and is having regular treatment to resolve the problem. He has not fully recovered as yet and will be reviewed over the next week.”

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