Australia coach Mickey Arthur plays down Clarke injury fears


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The Independent Online

Australia coach Mickey Arthur has played down fears skipper Michael Clarke's career could be shortened by injury.

Clarke is set to miss tomorrow's Commonwealth Bank Series decider against Sri Lanka as well as the start of this month's tour of West Indies due to a hamstring injury.

The 30-year-old had already missed a large part of the tri-series with a right hamstring problem before injuring the other leg while he made a century in yesterday's eight-wicket defeat.

Clarke was due to undergo a scan on the injury today and while Arthur admitted it "doesn't look great" he denied the back injuries that have hindered the right-hander are starting to bite.

"Michael is the most professional guy I've certainly seen in my time in terms of the way he manages his body (and) the way he goes about his treatment," Arthur told reporters in Adelaide.

"He is very methodical and very professional, so he has got every chance to keep getting it right.

"We were just looking through the stats last night, funnily enough, when we were having a chat - I think Mike has missed 15 ODIs through injury (but) he hasn't missed a Test yet.

"That is a pretty good record, so no area for concern just yet.

"He's always on top of his game and he's always making sure he's looking after that department."

Paceman James Pattinson also faces missing the start of the five-match ODI series against West Indies, which begins on March 16, after he suffered a buttock injury in Adelaide yesterday.

"He dived for a ball on the boundary and just pulled a glute - that will probably be seven to 10 days, not serious," Arthur said.

The Victorian has already been sidelined with injury for two months during the Australian summer and his latest concern adds to the injury problems to Australia's young bowlers.

Teenager Pat Cummins has not played for Australia since his sensational debut against South Africa in November due to a foot injury.