Mumbai, Oct.21 (ANI): Australian cricket team coach Time Nielsen has said that he fears that captain-in-waiting Michael Clarke will be hampered by recurring back problems for the rest of his career.
Though Clarke spoke positively about recovering from his latest flare-up in time to take part in the latter stages of the seven-match limited overs tour of India, Nielsen said he was more concerned about ensuring Clarke was fit enough to last the Australian summer and beyond, even if it meant not re-joining the squad until the first Test against the West Indies at Brisbane in November.
"The issues are with discs and things with his back, so I'm not sure they're ever going to be 100 per cent perfect," The Age quoted Nielsen, as saying soon after the team's arrival here for the seven one-day match series against India, the first of which will take place on October 25 in Vadodara.
"He'll have to manage it and he basically gets daily treatment on his back and his body when he's away and playing and travelling, as do most of the blokes. So, I don't think we can ever guarantee if he comes back saying he's fit now that he's not going to be sore or have flare-ups in the future again," Nielsen said.
"It's important Michael is 100 per cent right before he comes back and tries to get back into it because he only knows one way and he's going to go 100 per cent, flat-out in the field and bowl and bat as required. So there's no point bringing him back half-baked and hoping we can nurse him through, because there's nothing surer that it'd be a recipe for disaster for him," he added.
Clarke's latest bout of back problems in South Africa was put down largely to the amount of cricket and travel the Australian team had undertaken over the previous 12 months, but the schedule is not likely to be much less taxing in the future for the 28-year-old. (ANI)