New Delhi, Oct 28 : Ahead of the third Test beginning in New Delhi from tomorrow, the Aussies, who are already behind 0-1 in the four-match series, are facing a tough time with captain Ricky Ponting being in continuous pain following surgery on his right wrist in July.
During the second Test in Mohali last week which Australia miserably lost by 320 runs, Ponting required a cortisone injection in his wrist to overcome his pain, reported foxsports.com.
"It hasn't been great for the whole trip but I've got what I've got. I'm having treatment almost daily and I had another cortisone injection on the fourth night of the last Test. It's almost a week since then so it was expected to settle down quite a bit but I've still got a bit of discomfort. I'm trying things all the time. I didn't bat with painkillers on Sunday but have to during most sessions," the report quoted Ponting as saying.
Despite the injury and a poor second Test Ponting believes he is batting well. "After a few days off I feel really good about my batting. It's as well as I've moved and as well as I've hit the ball for a long time. It (the injury) is affecting me a little bit but people watching me bat wouldn't notice anything. It's not hindering strokeplay, it's just annoying," he said.
Ponting was sent home from the one-day series in the West Indies in late June with an injury which turned out to be worse than first thought.
The Aussies captain was forced to undergo surgery in Melbourne in early July to repair tissue and tendon damage, forcing him to miss the short one-day series against Bangladesh in Darwin during late August and early September.
Ponting damaged the tendon while batting in the second one-day international in Grenada, then played through the pain to post 69 in the following match two days later. However he struggled to train and was flown home before Australia's fourth one-dayer in St Kitts, and was reviewed by wrist specialist Greg Hoy in Melbourne.
"Ricky has sustained a tendon injury that requires repair of tissues that hold the tendon in place," Cricket Australia's medical officer, Trefor James, said at the time.
However, according to the report, Ponting's major concern is fast bowler Stuart Clark, who continues to train strongly after missing the second Test with an elbow injury. Ponting is confident Clark will be fit but the Australian hierarchy will wait and see how he wakes up on Tuesday after three days of bowling.
"We expect him to be available for selection but he will be reassessed in the morning," said Aussies team physiotherapist Alex Kountouris.
Australians are likely to make just one change, bringing back Stuart Clark to replace debutant fast bowler Peter Siddle. The tourists have had a dreadful run of injuries on this tour, with leg-spinner Bryce McGain (shoulder) and opening batsman Phil Jaques (back) being forced home without playing a match.