Australia's growing injury list
Australia's team bus during the tour of India was more ambulance than luxury coach as player after player went down with injuries. Five men were sent home during the seven-match series having picked up problems on tour, and another four first-choice players were already unavailable before the trip began.
Things haven't become much better and with just over a week until the first Test of the home summer, the Australians are anxiously monitoring the status of several key players. Brett Lee is already out of the equation with an elbow injury, Michael Clarke is being closely watched to see how his back copes with a four-day Sheffield Shield clash this week, and Peter Siddle and Ben Hilfenhaus are resting less serious niggles.
There has been some good news. Marcus North hurt his wrist last week but is playing for Western Australia; Phillip Hughes overcame a hand injury to take his place at the top of the New South Wales order; and Brad Haddin has made good progress since his finger surgery.
But it hasn't been just the international players who have been affected - several of the state teams are nursing extensive casualty lists. This week there are at least 28 players sidelined through injury, which is seriously testing the depth of Australia's talent pool.
THE CASUALTY WARD
Peter Siddle (side), Brad Hodge (hamstring), Shane Harwood (shoulder), Damien Wright (hamstring), Dirk Nannes (hamstring), Steve Gilmour (knee)
James Hopes (hamstring), Ryan Harris (knee), Ben Laughlin (abdominal strain), Grant Sullivan (hamstring), Chris Swan (groin), Glen Batticciotto (knee)
New South Wales
Nathan Bracken (knee), Brett Lee (elbow), Mitchell Starc (side strain), Mark Cameron (knee), Aaron Bird (side)
Brett Geeves (side strain), Ben Hilfenhaus (knee tendonitis), Tim Paine (broken finger), Adam Griffith (triceps), Gerard Denton (broken thumb)
Callum Ferguson (knee), Mark Cosgrove (hamstring), Chris Duval (stomach strain), Mark Cleary (back)
Ben Edmondson (fractured finger), Drew Porter (side strain)
Brydon Coverdale is a staff writer at Cricinfo