Watson hit by new injury heartache - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Watson hit by new injury heartache

18/11/2006 05:59:17 AM Comments (0)

Australia's selectors have been given a major headache just days from the first Ashes Test match, with allrounder Shane Watson in serious doubt after sustaining a hamstring injury bowling for Queensland.

Watson was in the middle of an impressive spell for the Bulls during a one-day game against Western Australia when he pulled up sharply clutching the back of his right leg.

The all-rounder conferred with captain Jimmy Maher then immediately left the ground with the Queensland trainer.

A WACA spokesman later confirmed the 25-year-old had a hamstring strain.

He will be assessed by Cricket Australia medical staff on arrival in Brisbane on Sunday, the spokesman said.

"I am optimistic but I would be very surprised if he is going to be right for next week," Maher said.

"I went down to him and said 'What's gone on', and he said he had certainly tweaked his hamstring.

"If it was just a strain, there is some sort of hope so let's hope it is."

Australia vice-captain Adam Gilchrist, who made 131 in Western Australia's 81-run win, said he had consoled Watson.

"I am really disappointed, I can feel his pain," Gilchrist said.

"I went in and saw him when he came off, and he's hurting a lot as will all the guys who now Watto so well," Gilchrist said.

"It is another setback but I have got no doubt he will be back in there, and I am sure there will be a spot available for him and one that he will deserve.

"I am not a massive one for luck in cricket, but he is genuinely unlucky in that instance.

"He just knew it was bad enough to more than likely miss, so you've got to give it 24 hours.

"But the way he reacted I think he knew he was going to have a real battle against the clock."

The Australian players are due to fly from Perth to Queensland on Saturday, and the WACA spokesman said Watson would still be among that party, despite the risk on the long flight from WA to Brisbane.

The scare could signal a late call-up for Michael Clarke, Andrew Symonds or Brad Hodge, with Clarke and Symonds offering possible bowling options.

The injury scare is the latest in a series of untimely ailments for Watson, who has been restricted to three Tests since making his debut in January 2005.

After breaking into Australia's one-day line-up in 2002, stress fractures to his back at the start of 2003 forced him to miss that year's World Cup.

Then in 2005 he was drafted into the Test team with the intention of becoming the designated allrounder, but dislocated his shoulder diving to field in his second match.

During the recent Champions Trophy tournament, the Ipswich-born player feared he was having a heart attack when he was rushed to a Chandigarh hospital with chest pains, but it turned out he had a severe bout of gastritis.

The Watson worry was the latest in a bitter-sweet day for Australian selectors, who had seen another player pull out of the one-day game in Perth with an injury, and two others signal a timely return to form.

Damien Martyn had earlier been forced to withdraw from the WA line-up with a recurrence of an elbow injury.

Martyn was scratched after undergoing treatment for tendonitis in his left elbow on Friday, but WACA officials said he was not in doubt for the Gabba Test.

WA doctor Damien McCann said the decision to rule Martyn out was made to ensure that he was fully fit by the time the Australian team goes into camp in Brisbane on Sunday.

"As a precautionary measure Damien has been withdrawn from today's match after treatment on his left elbow," McCann said.

Gilchrist signalled a stunning return to form with a 63-ball ton, the second-fastest domestic one-day century seen in Australia, while Justin Langer hit a 28-ball half-century, the fastest fifty in WA's one-day history.

It was not all good news in the England camp, with fast bowler Steve Harmison pulling out of the three-day game against South Australia with a side strain.

"He's not guaranteed for Brisbane with that problem he's had before. So we'll just have too see how this injection is and what effect it has on him," England coach Duncan Fletcher said.

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