Clarke poised for comeback with NSW

Clarke poised for comeback with NSW

Australian captain Michael Clarke is in line to make his comeback from injury to lead New South Wales in their Sheffield Shield match against Tasmania this week, team officials said today.

Clarke's availability for Wednesday's Shield game will be subject to a fitness review over a back injury, a spokesman said.

The star batsman was ruled out of Australia's one-day tour of India this month with a longstanding back problem, and feared he could miss the first Test against England starting on November 21.

But after intensive treatment for a degenerative disc condition, which has been an issue since he was a teenager, the prognosis is good.

"Michael is progressing well and recently recommenced batting in the nets," Australian team physiotherapist Alex Kountouris said in a statement last week.

Clarke's back problem flared up again before Australia's final ODI against England in Southampton last month, at the end of a gruelling five-Test Ashes tour to England, which Australia lost 3-0.

He played in that game, but selectors were reluctant to take any more risks given the big home summer coming up, and ruled him out of the India tour.

Other Ashes series contenders playing for NSW this week include paceman Josh Hazlewood, spinner Nathan Lyon, allrounder Steve Smith and batsman David Warner.

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