Cricket Australia (CA) have confirmed that Patrick Cummins, Ryan Harris, Mitchell Johnson, Shaun Marsh and Shane Watson are all unavailable through injury for the opening Test against New Zealand.
All five players picked up injuries during the tour of South Africa, where despite the casualty list, Australia drew the Test series 1-1 but they are now left with depleted reserves ahead of the New Zealand series, which begins in Brisbane on 1st December.
Marsh returned home early with a back problem from which he has failed to recover while having failed to prove his fitness for the second and final Test, Harris also returned home early with a pelvis injury.
Cummins then picked up a left heel injury during his man-of-the-match performance in Johannesburg, Johnson injured his left foot and Watson strained a hamstring during the game, which Australia won by five matches.
CA pysiotherapist Alex Kountouris issued the following medical bulletin on the five players:
"Ryan Harris is recovering from the pelvis injury that kept him out of the second Test against South Africa. He is making good progress but has not returned to bowling as yet and is therefore unavailable to play the first Vodafone Test against New Zealand. A decision on his return to training will be made early next week and will determine his return to playing.
"Shane Watson has not fully recovered from a hamstring strain sustained in the second Test against South Africa earlier this week. He is making good progress and will be reviewed next week to determine his availability.
"Shaun Marsh has made significant progress from the back injury he sustained in South Africa. He has not returned to training as yet and will continue to have intensive treatment. We are hopeful that he will return to training sometime next week and possibly be available for selection for the second Vodafone Test.
"Mitchell Johnson injured his left foot while batting in the second innings of the second Test against South Africa earlier this week. His foot was considerably swollen and painful after the game but he is showing early signs of improvement. He will not return to training in time to be fit for the Gabba. His return to training and playing will be clearer in coming days after he is assessed by a foot specialist in Perth and the swelling has had a chance to resolve.
"Pat Cummins experienced left heel pain towards the end of the second innings in his debut Test match. He had scans that have cleared him of any serious injury but we don’t expect that he will fully recover in time. He will be reviewed early next week to determine his workload plan for the summer."
The squad for the first Test will be named on 26th November.
© Cricket World 2011