Ashes 2013-14: Shane Watson on course to bowl at Gabba
Shane Watson started bowling in the nets on Monday and could be part of the Australian attack in the first Ashes Test.
Last Updated: 18/11/13 12:02pm
Watson injured his hamstring in the recent limited-overs series in India and looked set to play solely as a batsmen in the Brisbane opener.
But he bowled briefly in the nets on Monday, at reduced pace and off a shortened run-up, and Australia team physiotherapist Alex Kountouris predicted Watson could bowl at the Gabba.
"He's on track to be bowling in the next week, which means he might bowl in this Test match if he keeps making good progress," Kountouris said. "We're building him up to bowl whenever he's ready to go. So if it's this Test that's great - if it's a bit longer then that's how it's going to be."
If Watson is fit to bowl, spinner Nathan Lyon is much more likely to play. If the Aussies choose not to risk the all-rounder, the hosts will probably field four out-and-out pace bowlers.
Kountouris insists that Watson will not be risked if he is not completely fit to bowl.
"We'll reassess and make a decision on Tuesday where we go from there," Kountouris said. "We're realistic - he's coming back from an injury.
"He's an important batter and we've taken no risks in getting him here so we'll continue to do that."
The opening Ashes Test gets under way on Sky Sports 2 HD from 11pm on Wednesday.