Michael Clarke wants to be fit for Australia’s World Cup campaign but admits the latest hamstring setback means there is a chance he “may never play again”.
Australia has summoned Shaun Marsh to replace Clarke for the second Test against India in Brisbane, with the captain to miss the remainder of the four-Test series.
Clarke was sent for scans after limping from Adelaide Oval on Saturday’s final day of play in the first Test with a right hamstring injury.
“The scans are not great, they have certainly showed a tear there. The experts are looking at them and I can pretty confidently say that I won’t take part in this Test series,” Clarke said.
“I don’t know exactly how long I’m going to be out for.
“There’s no doubt there’s certainly a chance, well there’s a chance I may never play again.
“I hope that’s not the case and I’ll be doing everything in my power to get back out on the park, but I have to be realistic as well.”
I don’t know exactly how long I’m going to be out for… there’s a chance I may never play again.Michael Clarke
A visibly disappointed Clarke said he would still do whatever he could to assist the team throughout his period of absence.
“I’m obviously disappointed. But I’ll make sure I’m here supporting the boys and do whatever I can from the sidelines,” Clarke said.
Clarke was expected to miss this Test but battled through a hamstring injury to take his place, only to succumb to a back problem while batting in Australia’s first innings.
He would later return to score a courageous and sentimental century, only to injure the opposite hamstring while fielding on Saturday.
Despite his body clearly not being up to it, Clarke says he has no regrets about playing in the Test given its significance after the tragic death of his friend and team-mate Phillip Hughes.
“I don’t have one regret, this was the most important Test match of my career,” he said.
“I have no regrets about playing in this Test, I have no regrets about going back onto the field after I retired hurt… the rest will take care of itself.”
The news could come as a massive blow to Australia with both a World Cup and Ashes series looming, but after frequent battles with back and hamstring injuries will be facing a race against time.
Joining Marsh in Australia’s extended squad for Brisbane is left-arm quick Mitchell Starc, while Josh Hazlewood remains in contention for a Test debut.