Melbourne, June 25 (ANI): Australian all rounder Shane Watson is almost certain to not play in the first Ashes Test, after medical scans confirmed a tear in his thigh muscle.
The injury-plagued all rounder will not be sent home, but his Ashes prospects have declined as he sat out for county game against Sussex.
"Shane Watson had a scan on his left knee which confirmed a low-grade strain of one of his quadriceps (thigh) muscles," the Daily Telegraph quoted Australian physiotherapist Alex Kountouris, as saying.
"We expect this injury should resolve fairly quickly. His return to play will be guided by progress made in next few days."
Although scans did not reveal a serious injury, it is a major blow for Watson who has a long history of injuries dating back to when he was a teenager.
Skipper Ponting conceded Australia might have to send an S.O.S for Ashes reinforcement if Watson did not recover quickly, with batsman Brad Hodge believed to be the most likely candidate.
It was revealed on Wednesday that Watson was too sore to train and the all rounder was a spectator as Australia started its tour match at Hove last night.
Meanwhile, pace spearhead Mitchell Johnson was rested from Australia's tour game, which started on Wednesday.
Johnson is the only paceman assured of a spot for the first Test starting on July 8 and Ponting said all pacemen were desperate to impress. (ANI)