Australia v England, 1st Test, Brisbane, 4th day November 26, 2006

Ponting injury not considered serious

Cricinfo staff

Ponting is expected to be fit for the second Test at Adelaide on Friday © Getty Images
A recurring back injury prevented Ricky Ponting from fielding throughout the fourth day, but he is expected to return as Australia attempt to finish off England at the Gabba on Monday. Ponting experienced the problem while making an unbeaten 60 as he set the tourists an impossible target of 648, but he spent the afternoon receiving treatment in the dressing room from Alex Kountouris, the team physiotherapist.

Ponting strained a muscle in his upper back when he turned for the crease after backing up. He stretched on the ground but remained on the field until Justin Langer reached his century, declaring with his team at 1 for 202.

The injury is similar to one he experienced on the 2004 tour of Sri Lanka and Langer said he would "bet his house" on Ponting being fit for the second Test at Adelaide from Friday. Adam Gilchrist assumed the captaincy on a day when Glenn McGrath also suffered with pain in a "hotspot" in his left foot.

"The pressure is from his shoe and he's had it for a long time," Kountouris said. "The fact he's gone from one-day cricket to bowling a lot more overs meant the soreness was severe today." McGrath had a pain-killing injection in the foot and it will be treated after the match, but it is unlikely to threaten his participation in the remainder of the series.

Shane Watson is another who is due to be available for Adelaide as his recovery from a hamstring injury progresses well. Watson was ruled out of this match but Kountouris said he was on track for the second Test, which would force another reshuffle if he is included in the team.