India in Australia 2007-08 January 8, 2008

Hayden in race to be fit for third Test

Cricinfo staff

Matthew Hayden could take up to five weeks to recover © Getty Images

The Australia opening batsman Matthew Hayden is in doubt for the third Test against India in Perth after injuring his right thigh in Sydney. Alex Kountouris, the team physiotherapist, revealed that it could take Hayden up to five weeks to recover although he wouldn't rule out him playing the next match.

Hayden picked up the injury while turning for a run during his 123 in the second innings, prompting him to call for a runner, and he didn't take the field during India's reply. Hayden is set to return home to Brisbane for three days before starting his rehabilitation program.

"It could take one week to heal, it could take five weeks," Kountouris told the Courier Mail. "We are waiting to see how it looks in a few days. He is a chance to play in Perth but we are waiting to see."

Brad Hogg, the wrist spinner, is also in doubt for the Perth Test after sustaining a finger injury while fielding in Sydney. Scans did not reveal a fracture and Hogg is most likely to be replaced by Shaun Tait should Australia opt for four-pronged pace attack.

Chris Rogers, the Western Australia opening batsman, is a strong candidate to replace Hayden after scoring 362 runs in five Pura Cup matches this season. He and Phil Jaques were vying for the opener's spot but an untimely appendix problem ruled Rogers out of contention for the Sri Lanka series in November. Simon Katich, who is seeking a comeback, is another contender as he currently tops the Pura Cup table with 878 runs in six games.

The Perth Test is set to get underway on January 16, but the tour is in the balance after the Indian board complained against Harbhajan Singh's three-Test ban for racial abuse. India were also upset with the umpiring in Sydney and Steve Bucknor has been replaced for the game at the WACA.