Johannesburg, Sep 26(ANI): Australian vice-captain Michael Clarke has been ruled out of Australia first Champions Trophy clash on Saturday against West Indies following recurring back problems that continue to trouble the batsman.
Clarke has been struggling with the back pain for many years and has been managing the injury through the taxing international schedule that the Australians have.
"At the moment he is a day by day proposition for us. He is improving, but with the whole tournament in mind we are taking a conservative approach and he won't be playing against the West Indies," The Age quoted Tim Nielsen, Australian coach, as saying.
"Ideally, he will be right to go for the second match of the series," he added.
Nielsen further said that Australians have been playing cricket regularly, so there won't be any question of him being out of match practice for Australia's remaining group games against India on Monday and Pakistan on Wednesday.
"He's played a lot of cricket in the last three or four months, it's not like he's coming off a break, so a couple of bats will probably be enough for him to get back in the swing," Nielsen said.
"It's just a matter of getting his back to a stage where he can function normally and we're not concerned if he does have to dive for a ball that he could injure it and hurt it badly enough that he could miss the remainder of the series," he added.
Clarke most recently struggled with back problems at the end of the Australian summer, but had recovered in time to play in the first Test against South Africa in February. (ANI)