Pattinson hopes to play in tri-series
The fast bowler James Pattinson is confident he will be fit to play in the second half of the Commonwealth Bank Series. Pattinson is recovering from a foot injury that ruled him out of the final two Tests against India after he made an outstanding start to his Test career, with 25 wickets at an average of 18.12 in his first four matches in the baggy green.
After the Sydney Test, scans showed Pattinson had the early signs of stress fractures in his left foot and he was declared unfit for the rest of the Test series. However, Pattinson now believes he will be able to return in time for the end of the triangular one-day series, which would also make him available for the tour of the West Indies that follows.
"My recovery is going really well at the moment," Pattinson said on the Cricket Australia website. "I'm about three weeks away from coming back. My foot is feeling good. I'm back running and doing some bowling. I'll hopefully be back for the one-day international series about halfway through it, about the fifth one-dayer and then hopefully we can get into the finals and I'll be right for them."
Australia's fifth match in the series is against India in Brisbane on February 19, but even if Pattinson does not come up for that game he could be in the mix for the last few matches and the finals, which are scheduled for the first week of March. That Pattinson's injury does not appear to be long-term is good news for an Australia side already missing the vice-captain Shane Watson and the fast man Pat Cummins.
Cummins has been all but ruled out of the Australian summer due to a heel injury but he believes he could be fit for the Caribbean tour in March. Watson has been told not to rush back too soon and he said earlier this week that his calf injury was proving difficult to shake, and at this stage there is no clear time-frame for his return.
Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here