• Sri Lanka in Australia 2012/13

Watson a doubt for Australia after another injury setback

Brydon Coverdale
December 27, 2012 « Dodson chasing pigs & squirrels to prepare for Johnson | Chartbeat test »
Shane Watson should field on day three at the MCG © Getty Images
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Shane Watson is in doubt for the Sydney Test after suffering yet another injury while bowling.

Watson hurt his left calf - the same muscle that caused him problems earlier in the summer and ruled him out of the first two Tests against South Africa - while bowling against Sri Lanka at the MCG on Boxing Day.

The problem did not prevent Watson from batting on the second day and he was able to score 83 in an innings that lasted more than four hours but Cricket Australia revealed his injury late on Thursday night.

"He was able to get though the batting innings today and is likely to field on day three," team physio Alex Kountouris said. "Whether he bowls in the second innings will be determined closer to the bowling innings. A decision on his availability for the New Year Test will be made after the completion of the current match."

Watson has had an injury-plagued year, missing the whole of the last Australian Test summer due to hamstring and calf problems, before being ruled out of the Brisbane and Adelaide Tests this season after injuring his left calf while bowling in a Sheffield Shield match. As he recovered from that problem, he retained his determination to remain an allrounder and said he would not consider giving up bowling "unless something goes very horribly wrong".

During Australia's victory against Sri Lanka in Hobart this month he bowled 47.4 overs, easily the most he has ever sent down in a Test, as he helped cover for Ben Hilfenhaus, who broke down during the game.

In the lead-up to the Boxing Day Test, Watson said his body had recovered well from the workload and he was looking forward to contributing more with the ball in future.

"My body has pulled up really well so far from the amount of bowling," Watson said in Melbourne on Sunday, three days before the Test began. "To be able to get through that many overs is something that I've been thinking about for the last six months, and more so dreaming to be honest, to be able to contribute to an Australian Test bowling side of things with that amount of overs.

"I've pulled up really well from it. I always wished I was able to contribute some time when the team needed it. Unfortunately for Ben Hilfenhaus he went down injured but it meant that it gave me an opportunity to see if my body could handle that sort of thing and so far it has."

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

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