Injured Watson could recover in time for first Ashes test

Reuters
Australian cricket player Shane Watson talks to the media after his arrival at the Sydney International Airport March 12, 2013. REUTERS/Daniel Munoz/Files
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Australian cricket player Shane Watson talks to the media after his arrival at the Sydney International …

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - All-rounder Shane Watson could recover from a hamstring injury in time to face England in the first Ashes test starting in two weeks, Cricket Australia (CA) said on Wednesday.

Watson strained his left hamstring in Australia's one-day series deciding defeat to India on Saturday, leaving him scrambling to prove his fitness for the Ashes opener in Brisbane on November 21.

Scans had confirmed a "low-grade muscle strain," team physiotherapist Alex Kountouris said in a media release.

"He will have intense treatment and rehabilitation in Sydney over the coming days and just how well he responds to this will determine how quickly he can resume full training and match preparation," Kountouris said.

"It goes without saying that Shane and the medical team will be doing everything possible to get him fit and available for selection ahead of the first test."

The 32-year-old missed the 2006-07 Ashes series with a serious hamstring strain and has been plagued by soft tissue injuries throughout his 46-test career.

Watson scored 176 in the drawn fifth and final test at the Oval in the first of back-to-back Ashes series which Australia lost 3-0. If fit, he would bat at number three in the return series.

His economical medium pace and value as a timely wicket-taker would also be sorely missed as Australia look to stop the tourists winning a fourth successive Ashes series.

(Reporting by Ian Ransom; Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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