‘Michael is progressing well and recently recommenced batting in the nets’, says Alex Kountouris

Image courtesy of: Zimbio

“We’ll continue to monitor him closely”

Australia physiotherapist Alex Kountouris has revealed that captain Michael Clarke could start playing first-class cricket as early as next week after having nearly fully recovered from his chronic back injury.

Kountouris added that Clarke has also “recently recommenced batting in the nets”.

“Michael is progressing well and recently recommenced batting in the nets,” Kountouris said. “At this stage we are aiming to have him fit to play the second round of the Sheffield Shield, but we have not ruled out the possibility of him playing the first round of the Shield season if he makes better than expected progress.”

Clarke, who has had a degenerative disc problem since he was 17, has been undergoing intensive treatment in order to be fully fit by the time the Ashes gets underway on November 21 in Brisbane.

The Australian captain could find himself representing New South Wales in their Sheffield Shield match against Tasmania on October 30.

However, if Clarke is not deemed fit enough by then, he could return in the second round of the Sheffield Shield, in which New South Wales will play Victoria on November 6.

“We’ll continue to monitor him closely,” Kountouris said.

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