Warner confident of fitness ahead of Shield

Australia

Australia opening batsman David Warner says he's positive he'll be fit for the crucial Sheffield Shield opening round on 28 October, and will start batting in the nets on Tuesday.

Warner has been out of action with a broken thumb for nearly two months, the healing going slower than predicted, but Warner is sure he'll be able to play for New South Wales in Adelaide, against South Australia.

It's vital that Warner play in that match if he's to play in the Tests against New Zealand, as it will be his only chance to prove his fitness, and also his only chance to play against a pink ball and under lights.

Warner told Wide World of Sports: "It’s been a long five weeks, going on six weeks so far. I had an x-ray this morning and got some good news.

"The break has started to come together and I'm going to have a little light hit on Tuesday morning with just some underarm throws and stuff and then get into it on Thursday, Friday.

"I will just manage it as well as I can, I'll probably face bowlers the day before we leave for (the Shield match in) Adelaide.

"Just so I don't have the recurrence of being hit by one of the bowlers on that thumb.

"But there’s a very, very realistic chance I'm going to be playing in that Shield match and positive signs."

While Warner felt confident of doing well in Brisbane against New Zealand in late November, even without a pink ball Shield game under his belt, national coach Darren Lehmann was not so sure. He felt Warner had to play under lights first.

Lehmann said: "I'm pretty sure he'd have to play. If he's not going to play that he's probably not going to be fit enough (for the first Test).

"Again, we'll cross that bridge when we come to it but all signs are he's going to play."

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