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May 28, 2008
Australia received a jolt ahead of Friday's second Test with Matthew Hayden returning home after failing to recover from a lingering achilles injury. Ricky Ponting's team missed Hayden in the first Test in Jamaica, especially in the second innings when they collapsed to 18 for 5 before recovering to score 167.
"He's no good," Ponting told AAP. "Haydos will be going home pretty much ASAP.
"He had some scans after the game in Jamaica and, just with the time difference, he had to wait to get the experts back there to have a look at those, and obviously there's some tendon damage. It's just not going anywhere so we just want him to get home ... and get him back on a programme to get him right for the Champions Trophy."
Alex Kountouris, the side's physiotherapist, said Hayden's right achilles tendon injury has not made sufficient progress during his time in the West Indies. "He will not be able to participate in the second Test and was highly unlikely to be available for the third Test," Kountouris said. "With the large volume of cricket to be played over the next 18 months it was decided he should return to Australia to undergo rehabilitation and consult specialists. This means he will not be available for the five one-day internationals against West Indies."
Andrew Hilditch, the chairman of selectors, said Brad Hodge would remain with the side, "which is richly deserved given his strong performance in the first Test". Hodge made crucial contributions with 67 in the first innings and 27 in the second, but he will lose out to Simon Katich for the final batting spot once Michael Clarke comes back in at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua.
Katich will open for the second game in a row while Clarke, the vice-captain, will take Hodge's place at No. 5. Hilditch said the selectors would be meeting later in the week to discuss Hayden's replacement for the one-day series that begins after the third Test.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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