Australia seamer Ryan Harris in battle to be fit for next Ashes series

The bowler is out for two months with a hamstring problem

Australia seamer Ryan Harris faces a battle to be fit for this winter's Ashes Down Under after being ruled out for up to two months with a hamstring problem.

Harris, 33, was Australia's man of the series in the recent Test tour of England - claiming 24 wickets at 19.58 in four matches.

That was the first time he has ever played four Tests in a row due to a career-long battle with fitness problems.

Indeed, he has worn the Baggy Green just 16 times since his debut in March 2010 despite being considered one of his country's most incisive bowlers and boasting a superb record.

A Cricket Australia statement read: "Ryan Harris injured his right hamstring during the latter part of the second innings on the fifth Ashes Test. He had to leave the field and did not return to the game as he was unable to bowl.

"He was assessed after arriving back in Australia today and is expected to be unavailable to play for the next 6-8 weeks."

He was left out of this summer's Ashes opener at Trent Bridge but was arguably the most consistent pace man from either side after his belated arrival in the Lord's Test.

Speaking after taking five wickets in his first innings of the series, Harris said his ambition stretched only as far as flying home with his team-mates when the time came, rather than alone with yet another injury.

He managed that in the end, but only just. He was forced to watch the thrilling climax to the final Test from the dressing room at the Kia Oval having felt his hamstring tighten.

The first Test in Brisbane begins on November 21, leaving Harris with limited rehabilitation time should his recovery be completed as expected.

It is the latest in a succession of fitness issues among Australia's talented pace division, with Pat Cummins, James Pattinson and Jackson Bird all being struck down with back injuries in the last few weeks.

PA

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