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Clarke fractured shoulder during Cape Town ton

ESPNcricinfo staff

March 17, 2014

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Michael Clarke was tested by a barrage of short balls, South Africa v Australia, 3rd Test, Cape Town, 1st day, March 1, 2014
Michael Clarke survived a sustained spell of short-pitched bowling from Morne Morkel in Cape Town © Getty Images
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Scans have revealed that Michael Clarke suffered a fractured shoulder during his gutsy century in the Cape Town Test, an innings that featured a sustained bouncer barrage from Morne Morkel.

Cricket Australia's physio Alex Kountouris has said that Clarke's injury will heal "with a period of rest", although it was not confirmed how long that lay-off would be. Australia are fortunate that they have no Tests or one-day internationals coming up in the immediate future.

However, the injury means Clarke will be unavailable to play for New South Wales in the Sheffield Shield final against Western Australia, which starts at Manuka Oval in Canberra on Friday. Clarke had returned from the South Africa tour hoping that he would be able to take the field for his state in the decider but instead he will embark upon a recovery period.

"Michael Clarke was injured as a result of being struck on the left shoulder during the third Test against South Africa in Cape Town," Kountouris said. "We have since done a series of scans that have demonstrated a fracture near his shoulder joint. We expect that this will heal with a period of rest. Michael is therefore unavailable for the Sheffield Shield final to be played later this week."

Clarke scored an unbeaten 161 in the first innings at Newlands, which set up the victory that earned Australia a 2-1 series win. The innings was particularly notable for the way he survived a searching spell from Morkel, who came around the wicket and sent down plenty of bouncers and struck Clarke all over the body.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by David_Bofinger on (March 18, 2014, 23:33 GMT)

Clarke's innings might not quite be in the class of Rick McCosker and Dean Jones, but it's certainly admirable. I'm not sure why people are calling this series great, though, since all three tests were walkovers. For a great series I want to see players pushing themselves to their limits and a test in the balance. Australia's series in England had more of that than this one did.

Posted by   on (March 18, 2014, 20:52 GMT)

This what being Australian Captain means... Guts, Courage and unwillingness to ever take a backwards step... It is the reason why we are and will always be the best. We may have short periods were the dominance might waiver but longer term, there is no denying us. Strap yourselves in world cricket, another 25 years on ruthless dominance coming up...

Posted by vkias on (March 18, 2014, 12:18 GMT)

@Rajesh....we should give credit to quality players like Lara, Sachin, Ponting, Clarke, ABD, Smith, Kallis, Dravid, Gilchrist, Waqar....who speaks with their performance rather than go on talking in front of media just like 'OTHER' players from 'FEW' countries...i never forget the entertainment given by them by their 'CLASS' of act

Posted by social_monster09 on (March 18, 2014, 8:54 GMT)

@ vkias on (March 17, 2014, 18:25 GMT) well said buddy, I admires you & your cricketing knowledge. And in the aspect of Clarke surely he is not the best batsman in this era but yeah he is in the league of the best of the bests. But in my opinion Clarke is better batsman than AB De V.. becoz Clarke I think is only world class batsman who has the guts to play in all sub-continent countries esp. in India where pitches are turning from the very 1st day. Only he is capable to sustain there other than ABDV or Amla. Amla is a good choice than ABDV. Becoz ABDV is a ruthless stroke making player whereas Amla is a cool contestant & all knows patience is the most important aspect in sub-continent pitches.

Posted by Rooboy on (March 18, 2014, 7:50 GMT)

Never been the biggest fan of Clarke's. Just seemed a bit too much of the pretty boy and not enough grit, old school Aussie cricket style. He's won me over since becoming captain anyway, but now this ... I'm here to admit I was totally and utterly wrong to ever doubt Pup!! That was as gutsy an innings as you'd see, to do it with a fractured shoulder (regardless of the severity) means he can comfortably take his spot amongst AB, Bruce Laird, Boonie, and all the other Aussie batsmen who put their bodies on the line for their country

Posted by funkybluesman on (March 18, 2014, 5:29 GMT)

It was an awesome innings. I suspect it's a basic hairline fracture. Such a fracture itself wouldn't really restrict movement as such, though it would be very painful, any associated swelling would be the thing that would restrict movement the most.

The biggest danger with a fine hairline fracture is that if you don't take it easy and let it heal then get bumped in that area in a bad way, the hairline fracture can turn into a much more serious one quite easily.

I suspect that he thought it was just bad bruising, but when the pain refused to go away, but maybe even kept getting worse, they got some more scans and found the fracture.

The biggest danger in playing the shield final would probably be diving in the field, landing on the shoulder and causing a serious displaced fracture that would put him out for months.

Posted by   on (March 18, 2014, 0:32 GMT)

I love the fact that there is a guy saying Clarke isn't a good Batsman. I'm thinking this guy must be an Indian and is still a little peeved about that triple century that Clarke ground out of those medium pace bowlers that India always bring to Australia... As an Aussie and a club cricketer, I don't care that Clarke fractured his shoulder or that Morkel bombed him with bouncers. All I really care about is how good that the Test series was. It was a "TEST" of not only those 26 cricketers that played, not just their skill, but of their physical and mental strength... I still think the Ashes were a better series, but hey what Aussie doesn't love seeing the Poms ground into the pitch. But, this series in SA definitely is up there with some of the great series. Plus, Davey Warner on fire is awesome to watch

Posted by rattusprat on (March 17, 2014, 23:58 GMT)

@Integrity1 there are fractures and there are fractures. I got hit in the ribs once while batting (in a reasonably lower grade, definitely not facing Morkel). Some pain, kept batting (no heroic hundreds, out shortly after). The morning before the next game a week later, however, I sneezed and was in agony and had to pull out. Got an X-ray and the doc said there had been a hairline fracture. No doubt that Clarke's shoulder was in some pain, and the pain just wasn't going away after a couple of weeks, so the team doc told him to get an X-ray just to be sure.

Posted by   on (March 17, 2014, 23:09 GMT)

@Rajesh: Yep, a guy who has test average of 51.50 cannot be called a good batsman.

Posted by Ms.Cricket on (March 17, 2014, 22:43 GMT)

Michael Clarke is scared of facing the Western Australian attack in Canberra hence he has made an excuse to withdraw ;)

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