Australia news January 22, 2013

Injured Beer in doubt for India tour

Michael Beer's hopes of travelling to India as Australia's backup spinner on the upcoming Test tour have taken a blow after he injured his shoulder at training on Monday. Beer has been ruled out of Western Australia's Sheffield Shield match starting in Sydney on Thursday and scans will determine how long he will take to recover.

That will leave the national selectors needing to consider other spin options as support for Nathan Lyon on the Indian trip, which begins with a Test in Chennai in exactly one month, starting on February 22. The squad is likely to be selected within the next ten days. Beer was bullish about his chances of a quick return but Western Australia were less certain.

"Michael Beer injured his AC joint while fielding at training yesterday afternoon," the WACA said in a statement. "Beer will continue to be assessed to determine the extent of the injury and the length of time he is expected to be sidelined."

Initially, reports were emerging from the Western Australia camp that Beer had injured his knee, but it soon became apparent that it was his AC joint, not his ACL joint, that was the problem. "My knees are fine, just a sore shoulder. Will be back in no time," Beer tweeted late on Monday night.

Beer, who last played for Australia during the tour of West Indies last April, will remain a candidate for the India tour if his injury proves not to be severe. But missing the Shield match is unfortunate given his lack of impact in the first half of the Shield summer, when he took eight wickets at an average of 46.37 for the Warriors.

However, his figures are not unusual by the standards of spinners this season due to the seam-friendly pitches early in the summer. So far, the leading wicket taker in the competition is Steve O'Keefe with nine at 34.55, and Beer's injury will encourage O'Keefe and spinners from all states, who know that one big match in this next round of games could put them in contention.

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here