Michael Clarke’s playing future has become uncertain as he suffered his third hamstring injury in the last three months during the first ODI against South Africa at Perth. He is also frequently troubled by a degenerative back complaint. After aggrevating the injury few days back, he is a doubtful starter for the four-Test series against India which begins at Brisbane on December 4, followed by a triangular ODI tournament involving India and England and the the all important World Cup.

Australian Performance chief Pat Howard told Fairfax Media that the Aussies are putting the World Cup and the Ashes which comes just after the World Cup on par with with the India series.

“Clarke might not play the Test series against India as we want him to be fit for the Ashes and the World Cup. But we’ve seen him rushed back and what we’d hate is for him to play a Test or two and then break down. But we’ve seen him rushed back and what we’d hate is for him to play a Test or two and then break down.  Everything is on the table at this point. We saw (paceman) Nathan Coulter-Nile go through hamstring surgery and come back in eight weeks, so obviously that is one possibility.”

“I have talked about the priorities and what they are. Sometimes you have got to take a little bit of a long-term and a medium-term picture. If we do this well, we can get extra years out of Michael who is a world-class player, rather than thinking in days and tournaments. We have an opportunity to really get the best out of the last couple of years of his career.”

“Clarke has said he has no intention of quitting limited-overs cricket after the World Cup, but his future in the format is likely to be discussed after the February-March tournament. Getting to the World Cup is important and how we get through this progress and rehab program will be important first. Anything past that we will assess how his body has come through that period and it will be a consultative process.”

From February, Australia are co-hosts of the World Cup and in July they will be touring England for the high-pressure, five-Test Ashes series.

Image Courtesy: Independent.co.uk