Shane Watson’s injury woes have continued with the veteran all-rounder ruled out of Australia’s one-day tour of Zimbabwe.
The 33-year-old sprained his right ankle after stepping on a ball during training on Saturday in Brisbane.
Phil Hughes will take Watson’s place in the 14-man squad for the triangular series against Zimbabwe and South Africa starting in Harare on August 25.
Australian team physiotherapist Alex Kountouris said Watson’s injury wouldn’t recover quickly enough for it to be worthwhile taking him on the two-week tour.
Kountouris said Watson should be fit for selection for the Test series against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates in late October.
“His ankle is currently swollen and sore, but expected to recover with a period of rest,” he said.
“Due to the compact nature of the tour, we’ve made a decision that Shane would be unlikely to recover sufficiently in time for the series.
“He will return to Sydney in coming days to continue his recovery and be ready for the tour of the UAE.”
Hughes, overlooked when the initial squad was announced, will join the team following his current commitments for Australia A in Townsville.
Chairman of selectors Rod Marsh said Hughes deserved the opportunity to replace Watson.
“As I’ve said previously, Phil was unlucky not to be picked in the initial squad after showing some great form in the Australia A series and was the natural choice to come in for Shane,” Marsh said.
“The NSP (national selection panel) is very happy with the bowling depth in the squad but Watson’s absence has meant another top order batsman is necessary.”