Australia set to gamble on McGrath as Lee recovers

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A comeback for McGrath, who missed the Edgbaston Test after tearing ankle ligaments in the warm-up, seemed out of the question but the 35-year-old had a full bowling work-out in Manchester yesterday and will play today unless there is a reaction.

Given there were doubts about him taking any further part in the series, it is a remarkable recovery. "Glenn has come a long way from being on crutches just a few days ago," Australia's captain, Ricky Ponting, said. "We have to be sure he is fit but Glenn knows his body."

Brett Lee, who has recovered quickly from a knee infection, will play as Australia end a tough week with a double dose of good news.