Clarke re-injures hamstring in 1st ODI vs South Africa
Perth, Australia: Australia captain Michael Clarke injured his left hamstring on Friday for the third time in six weeks, and withdrew immediately from the series-opening limited-overs international against South Africa.
The injury not only casts doubt on his fitness for the five-match series against South Africa, but for his prospects for the four-test series against India starting on Dec. 4, and the Cricket World Cup, which kicks off in February.
"I've had this injury three times in the same leg in the past six weeks," Clarke said during the TV broadcast, adding he'd undergo scans on Saturday and hoped to get back on the field as soon as possible. "Whatever it takes for me to get back on the park, I'll do it."
Clarke was out for 11, caught behind when he gloved an attempted pull shot off Dale Steyn's bowling, and slowly left the field.
"Early in my innings I took off a run and just felt it grab," Clarke said. "I've got my fingers crossed that it's not that bad. I've had a long stint of rehab trying to get it strong and unfortunately it's come back again, so that is not positive.
"I think we're in for a great summer. I just hope I can be a part of it."
It was the same problem that forced Clarke, who has a long history of lower back problems, out of the tri-series in Zimbabwe in September.
George Bailey stepped in as captain for the remainder of the match, and was likely to retain the job for the ODI series if Clarke is out long-term.
Vice-captain Brad Haddin has been ruled out of the ODI series due to a shoulder injury he sustained while fielding during the test series loss to Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates, but is hopeful of returning for the matches against India.