The Aussies are set to sweat on Clarke’s fitness.
Australia captain Michael Clarke is a doubt for his country’s opening match of the Champions Trophy with England on Saturday due to a back injury.
A persistent problem to the 32-year-old’s lower back has sidelined Clarke since March, when the issue reoccurred during the Australians’ disappointing tour of India.
The 2012 Wisden Cricketer of the Year missed both of Australia’s warm-up matches prior to the start of the last ever Champions Trophy tournament and is due to receive specialist treatment in London on Wednesday in a last ditch bid to be fit for the weekend.
“Michael is still experiencing some lower back pain and as such is not fit for the warm-up against India,” Cricket Australia physiotherapist Alex Kountouris was quoted on BBC Sport.
“Michael will head to London for specialist treatment and a decision on his fitness for the next game will be made in due course.”
Despite a torrid time for Australian cricket of late, that has seen them slump to fourth in the ICC Test rankings, Clarke has been flying the flag for his team with some outstanding performances.
The skipper was the only Aussie to score a century during their embarrassing 4-0 whitewash in India and amassed more five-day runs than anyone else in the whole of 2012.
Clarke has scored 7,375 one-day international runs since his debut in 2003 at an average of 44.69 and helped Australia to triumph in the last two versions of the Champions Trophy.
The injury to the captain meant that he missed out on vital short-over practice at the IPL tournament however, where he was due to lead Pune Warriors India.