Tait desperate to bowl for Australia December 5, 2007

Sick Jaques looks for quick return

Cricinfo staff

Phil Jaques captured back-to-back centuries against Sri Lanka in November © Getty Images

Phil Jaques is trying to recover from the mumps in time to play in New South Wales' FR Cup match against South Australia in his home town of Wollongong on Sunday. Jaques is desperate to move off Australia's injury list after being struck by the disease after scoring two centuries in the Sri Lanka series.

Jaques is one of a group of players causing concern - Stuart MacGill, Andrew Symonds, Michael Clarke, Matthew Hayden and Ricky Ponting have all missed domestic games - but he is regaining health. "I'm hopeful of playing but we'll need to see where I'm at physically," Jaques said in the Sydney Morning Herald. "My aim is to play." New South Wales' medical staff will continue to monitor Jaques in case he develops any complications.

It now appears he will be fit for the Boxing Day Test and Matthew Hayden, Jaques' opening partner, has also recovered from knee tendonitis. Hayden spent the past week training in preparation for the Chappell-Hadlee Series, which starts in Adelaide on December 14.

Shaun Tait, who had to withdraw from the first Test of the Sri Lanka contest, is also on the comeback trail from an elbow problem, but he was outstanding in the Pura Cup match against Queensland, taking ten wickets for the game. The selectors are trying to decide the best way back for Tait, but the bowler is in no doubt about which option he would choose.

"I'd rather play for Australia in any game," he told AAP. The squad for the Chappell-Hadlee Series will be chosen on Thursday.