Cricket Australia confident captain Michael Clarke will be fit for the Ashes
Australia captain Michael Clarke should be fit for this summer's Ashes despite suffering from a lower back injury.
Last Updated: 26/03/13 10:24am
Clarke will miss the Indian Premier League and is doubtful for the ICC Champions Trophy after scans revealed he needs up to 10 weeks on sidelines.
Clarke was forced to miss the fourth Test against India with the problem, which is related to previous spinal issues
However Cricket Australia chief medical officer Justin Paolini is confident Clarke will be back in time to prepare for the Ashes, which start in July.
Paoloni said: "Michael Clarke had scans that confirmed his current lower back injury is an exacerbation of previous issues he has had with his spine.
"As always, we need to manage this carefully as there are potentially serious consequences with further aggravation.
"He still has pain with basic activities and is not back to full function as yet.
"He also has a hamstring injury that has been a concern for most of the summer and will complicate his return.
"Michael is having intensive rehabilitation for both his back and hamstring but is still seven-10 weeks away from returning to training and playing.
"We are confident that it will not affect his Ashes preparation but will know more over the coming weeks."