Shane Watson has been cleared of a serious hamstring strain and remains confident of being able to play as an all-rounder in the first Ashes Test in Brisbane.
Watson underwent a scan on Tuesday afternoon after struggling with a left hamstring problem in the final one-day international in India and more is expected to be known about his likely availability later this week.
The 32-year-old was forced off the field when bowling in Bangalore, but returned later to bat under duress.
Watson’s long injury history has raised concerns the No.3 could be ruled out of the England opener starting on November 21, or at least restricted to just batting in the Gabba match.
But it appears Watson is a chance to still bowl in the first Test provided he responds well to treatment and can get through training when the team assemble in Brisbane on November 17.
Assessment from Cricket Australia medical staff confirmed a low-grade muscle strain and team physiotherapist Alex Kountouris said everything would be done to get Watson on the park.
“He will have intense treatment and rehabilitation in Sydney over the coming days and just how well he responds to this will determine how quickly he can resume full training and match preparation,” said Kountouris.
“It goes without saying that Shane and the medical team will be doing everything possible to get him fit and available for selection ahead of the first Test.
“We’ll be assessing him on a daily basis and expect to have a clearer picture of his progress later in the week.”
It appears likely the former Test vice-captain will miss NSW’s Sheffield Shield clash with Queensland starting next Wednesday, which would mean he’d head into the Ashes series without a first-class match under his belt.
If Watson is fit to take his part, it would appear Australia’s only vacancy will be the No.6 batting position – with ODI star George Bailey the leading contender.
However, Alex Doolan and Shaun Marsh also have a chance to push their claims in Australia A’s clash with England in Hobart.
Watson is a pivotal member of the Australian line-up, as No.3 batsman and a fourth seam bowler.
His omission would significantly alter the balance of the side and could mean James Faulkner earns a recall.