'Injured' Clarke still 'racing against time' to be fit for Oz Champions Trophy campaign

Sydney, June 7 (ANI): Australian captain Michael Clarke is racing against time to take part in his team's ICC Champions Trophy campaign, with the latest flare-up in his back yet to settle.

Clarke, who was still in London being treated by a specialist, would not play in Saturday's tournament opener against England in Birmingham, although he has not been officially ruled out, News.com.au reports.

With an Ashes series fast approaching, team physiotherapist Alex Kountouris said that there would be no risk-taking with Clarke, adding that they are racing against time to get him fit for the eight-nation tournament and the Ashes.

According to the report, the compact nature of the Champions Trophy will have Australia's three pool games wrapped up by Monday week, giving Clarke little time to return to the full-intensity training required for a return.

Kountouris further said that the team medical staff is trying to get to get to the stage where Clarke is pain-free, and then go through a series of tests to get him playing normally, adding that the skipper is still struggling with the pain.

However, Kountouris does not believe that the aggravation is as bad as when Clarke was ruled out of the fourth Test against India in March, although he admitted that it is still too early to determine the severity of this latest flare-up.

According to Kountouris, the medical staff is taking his injury day by day at the moment, keeping in mind the importance of the Champions Trophy and the heavy season of cricket ahead of the team. (ANI)


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