Thu, Dec 25, 2014 - Page 20 News List

Michael Clarke says recovering as expected, still has World Cup hopes

Reuters, SYDNEY

Australia batsman Michael Clarke has said his recovery from surgery on his torn hamstring was progressing as expected and he still hoped to lead his country at next year’s World Cup.

The 33-year-old tore his hamstring during the first Test against India and was ruled out for the series, prompting speculation his latest injury could spell the end of his career.

The right-hander has a chronic back problem that causes hamstring injuries and had been battling to make the field for the delayed first Test before suffering back spasms while batting and then injured his hamstring while fielding.

“The biggest thing for me at the moment is getting back on the field for the World Cup,” Clarke wrote in his column for News Corp newspapers yesterday ahead of the tournament in Australia and New Zealand, which starts on Feb. 14.

“I have been told by medical staff that I am in as good a condition as I can be a week after undergoing the surgery. There is no swelling and no pain when I walk,” he said. “I can’t wait to begin stage two of the rehab process, which involves starting to run again.”

Clarke also backed his under-fire veterans Chris Rogers, Shane Watson and Brad Haddin, who have all battled recent batting slumps, and said their experience would be invaluable as Australia look to defend the Ashes next year in England.

“Personally, I hope all three of them are on the plane to England for next year’s Ashes series,” Clarke added. “They bring so much more to the table than just their batting.”

“It’s crucial to have experienced guys like these in a team when you’re bringing through youngsters like Joe Burns,” he said.

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