Clarke’s back shows signs of improvement

February 21st, 2009 - 3:36 pm ICT by IANS  

Sydney, Feb 21 (IANS) It was a disappointing day for Australia on the first day of a practice match here, but the good news was that vice captain Michael Clarke was recovering fast from the back injury that kept him out of the match against the South Africa President’s XI.
At a time when the Australian bowlers were taken to task as the hosts made 393 for five on the first day, Friday, Clarke was practicing at the nets behind the Potchefstroom’s Senwes Park.

“It’s getting there slowly. I had a good bat today,” The Daily Telegraph quoted Clarke as saying.

He hoped to get some fielding practice in a bid to improve his game.

“That was the first bit of running this morning that I’ve done since I’ve been in South Africa. I haven’t done any fielding,” he said. “I guess it’s a sprain. I had a lot of inflammation and spasms. The spasm stopped but it’s still a little bit inflamed. It’s sort of behind my ribs so I get it across and it comes into the front of my chest. It’s completely separate to what (other back problems) I’ve had.”

Asked why he won’t play in the lucrative Indian Premier League (IPL), Clarke said: “I have a lot of reasons for why I didn’t go in the IPL. My body is obviously one of them, yeah.”

The part-time left-arm spinner also said that he wanted to contribute with his bowling skills in the first Test against South Africa starting Thursday at Johannesburg.

“At the moment for me bowling is probably the last thing I’m concerned about. It’s more making sure I can bat, I can run between the wickets, I can field, hopefully hang onto a couple of catches as well,” he said.

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