Clarke comeback for series against Windies at a critical stage

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Melbourne, Nov 13 (ANI): Australia's vice-captain Michael Clarke will fly to Melbourne today for a medical assessment likely to decide whether he will be fit for the start of the Test series against the West Indies.

Clarke will see team physiotherapist Alex Kountouris for a detailed examination before attempting to step up his training after struggling for almost two months to overcome a degenerative back problem.

Clarke, who had his second light net session in as many days yesterday, is hopeful he will be given the all clear to play in next week's Sheffield Shield match, The Australian reports.

Brett Lee is also hopeful of playing in the same match to show the selectors he has overcome an elbow strain, which forced him home during the one-day series in India.

Clarke claims there has been no demand by selectors to prove his fitness by playing for NSW before the first Test begins in Brisbane on November 26.

Kountouris has examined Clarke on a weekly basis and has been pleased with his improvement in the past fortnight.

"He's going really well and he's started batting this week, which is good. That's normal for him, to start batting about a fortnight before a Test series. He's been playing for about five months straight, so it's not the skills we're worried about," Kountouris said.

"It was important to have a break more than anything else. He's got some critical tests, which have to be clear, and hopefully we can go from there. I expect to see (today) that he's very good and expect to give him the all-clear to start playing." (ANI)

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