Michael Clarke to play a grade cricket game this weekend, recovery on track
Australian skipper Michael Clarke is set to feature in grade cricket for Western Suburbs against Gordon at Chatswood Oval this weekend. Cricket Australia is confident that their skipper will be back to full fitness to face Bangladesh in their second World Cup fixture on February 21.
Clarke is set to play only as a batsman during the grade fixture, with his return to limited fielding duties set for late next week.
Clarke has not played for the national team since defying a back spasm to score a heroic century in the Adelaide Test last December. Later, he tore a hamstring, which had to be operated. If he gets through this grade match, he will travel to the National Cricket Centre in Brisbane to continue his rehabilitation before playing the World Cup warm-up match against Bangladesh next week at Allan Border Field.
‘Recovery on track’
Australian team Physio Alex Kountouris said that, "Michael is making good progress following his injury and the subsequent surgery six weeks ago, and the fixture in Sydney this weekend when he will play only as a batsman, and next week's match in Brisbane, where he will play as a batsman with a limited fielding role, are all part of a gradual return to competitive action,"
He added, "We are determined to maintain a conservative approach to the management of Michael's recovery but should he come through these matches without any adverse reaction, he remains on target to return as per our original schedule, for the second match of Australia's ICC Cricket World Cup campaign, against Bangladesh in Brisbane on 21 February."
‘Need to take it step by step’
“I am really happy to be playing for my Grade club this weekend and regard this as a positive step on my road to a return to full fitness,” Michael Clarke said.
“It is exciting to be at this stage where I can consider walking onto a cricket field again and so, thanks to the guidance of the Cricket Australia medical staff and with the work I have put in, the signs are positive.”
“But at the same time I know I have to respect the fact that I am on a daily programme and there is no point in us getting too far ahead of ourselves. I know I need to take things one step and one day at a time and so, for now, all I am doing is focusing on things day by day and with a belief in a positive outcome.”
Cricket Australia XI is scheduled to play two matches against Bangladesh as part of the touring team’s build up to the ICC Cricket World Cup.