Australian captain Michael Clarke ruled out of IPL
Australian cricket captain Michael Clarke was ruled out of the Indian Premier League (IPL), starting next week, as he has been advised to take rest for at least seven weeks under the rehabilitation programme for his chronic back injury.
Clarke, who was bought by IPL team Pune Warriors for USD 4,00,000 in the IPL auctions early this year, underwent scans for his back and hamstring problems soon after he arrived home from India where his side suffered a humiliating 0-4 Test series whitewash.
Cricket Australia Chief Medical Officer Justin Paoloni said that Clarke would need at least 7-10 weeks rest as part of rehabilitation programme for the degenerative disc problem that has afflicted him since 17 years of age.
Clarke missed the fourth and final Test against India in New Delhi, which Australia lost inside three days.
"Michael Clarke had scans that confirmed his current lower back injury is an exacerbation of previous issues he has had with his spine. Michael is having intensive rehabilitation for both his back and hamstring but is still 7-10 weeks away from returning to training and playing," Paoloni said in a CA statement.
"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 said.
"Michael's intensive rehabilitation program will be overseen by the CA medical team and back specialists in Australia," he added.
Clarke's injury status and the rehabilitation programme meant that he will miss the April 3-May 26 IPL. It also laid to rest speculations that he could be coaxed to captain Pune Warriors in the cash-rich Twenty20 League by offering USD two million following reluctance shown by Yuvraj Singh.
CA, however, said that Clarke would be able to be a part of the Australian team for the Ashes series in England in July-August.
"He also has a hamstring injury that has been a concern for most of the summer and will complicate his return. We are confident that it will not affect his Ashes preparation but will know more over the coming weeks," CA said in the statement.
On his early return home following his inability to regain fitness in time for the Delhi Test, Clarke had said he would "listen to the experts" regarding his battered and fatigued body and his IPL participation.
"I'll have scans and spend plenty of time with physio, fingers crossed it turns out okay. I would be silly to make that decision (on the IPL) right now, I think I need to wait on the results, listen to the experts and then make a plan from there.
"I've had my back issues since I was 17 years of age so this is no different. In regards to my hamstring I hurt it throughout the Australian summer and it has just lingered on.
I haven't had the opportunity to get that 100 per cent fit due to how much cricket we've had."