ESPNCricinfo: Australia’s captain Michael Clarke will take much-needed rest at home, rather than taking up his likely appointment as captain of the Pune Warriors in the IPL, as the best remedy for the back and hamstring problems that bedevilled his India tour.
Clarke underwent scans soon after his arrival in Sydney and ESPNcricinfo understands these showed that his back trouble was caused not by any new source but the same degenerative disc that has afflicted him since his teenage years.
Complaints of hamstring discomfort were also assessed, with no evidence found of a new injury, rather the accumulated wear of carrying a tender muscle through the tour after he strained it during the home Test series against Sri Lanka.
As a result of these dual problems, Clarke has been advised to rest and then train to strengthen his body rather than linking up with the Warriors. It has been reported that Clarke may be offered as much as A$2 million to lead the IPL franchise after Yuvraj Singh expressed reluctance to be captain, but the risk of fouling up an Ashes campaign that may define his captaincy has been deemed too acute.
“Michael Clarke had scans that confirmed his current lower back injury is an exacerbation of previous issues he has had with his spine,” Cricket Australia Chief Medical Officer Justin Paoloni said. “As always, we need to manage this carefully as there are potentially serious consequences with further aggravation.
“He still has pain with basic activities and is not back to full function as yet. He also has a hamstring injury that has been a concern for most of the summer and will complicate his return.
“Michael is having intensive rehabilitation for both his back and hamstring but is still 7-10 weeks away from returning to training and playing. We are confident that it will not affect his Ashes preparation but will know more over the coming weeks.”