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April 27, 2013

Harris expected to be fit for Ashes

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April 27, 2013

SYDNEY: Cricket Australia said on Friday an Achilles injury that forced paceman Ryan Harris home from India was not serious and he was expected to be fit for the Ashes series in England.
The injury-prone Harris returned home for tests on his left Achilles raising fears about his fitness 11 weeks ahead of the first Ashes Test in Nottingham.
But CA’s Chief Medical Officer Justin Paoloni played down the concerns over the Ashes chances of the 33-year-old paceman.
“Scans showed the injury was not serious and he will undergo intensive rehabilitation with the aim of him being available to take part in the Australia A Series and we expect he will be fit to play in the Ashes,” Paoloni said in a statement.
Despite the Queenslander’s chequered injury history, selectors this week named Harris in a 16-man touring party for the five Ashes Tests against England.
Harris surged into Ashes contention on the back of a successful comeback at the end of the last Australian domestic season after being sidelined for almost a year.
His three-game return included the Sheffield Shield final, where he proved his form and fitness by taking match figures of 7-139 from 54 overs.
Despite that workload, Harris said he wanted to maintain his strength and form playing Twenty20 cricket in India. He played three games before pulling up sore and eventually was forced home for a full diagnosis.
Harris has taken 47 wickets at 23.63 in 12 Tests for Australia.
Australia’s other Ashes injury concern, left-armer Mitchell Starc is on track in his recovery from ankle surgery, Paoloni said.
“Mitchell Starc is recovering as expected from arthroscopic ankle surgery,” he said.
“Currently he is meeting all clinical time-frames and with this progress the target is to play ICC Champions Trophy and then the Ashes.”

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