Teams Manage Fitness Concerns Ahead Of Ashes
Both Australia and England continue to face challenges in making sure their key players are fit for the first Ashes Test, with Michael Clarke and Kevin Pietersen among those being monitored.
Clarke's troublesome back injury, which forced him to miss the tour of India, has been managed well enough for him to play two Sheffield Shield games, although he will sit out this week's round.
Pietersen, however, will fly to Melbourne for a cortisone injection in his knee as England battle to keep him fit for their final warm-up game, which begins on 13th November.
Wicket-keeper Matthew Prior faces a scan on a calf injury he picked up during the match against Australia 'A'.
Meanwhile, there is better news for Australia, who not only expect Shane Watson to be fully fit but have confirmed that fast bowlers Ryan Harris and Peter Siddle are also fit.
Speaking about Clarke, Harris and Siddle, Australia coach Darren Lehmann said: "We’re very pleased with Michael’s preparation ahead of the first Test. The plan for his Ashes build-up was to play two Sheffield Shield matches, which he has done successfully. He has spent valuable time in the middle batting and fielding.
"Importantly his back has coped well in both matches, but we will continue to take a sensible and cautious approach to managing him. As part of his preparation for the first Test, he will go to Brisbane for training.
"On the fast bowling front, Ryan and Peter are both in great condition. As part of their management plan they will continue their preparation under the guidance national coaching staff in Brisbane over the coming days."
Australia name their squad for the first Test, which begins in Brisbane on 21st November, on Tuesday.
© Cricket World 2013