Australia news February 17, 2012

Mitchell Marsh sidelined by back injury

The emerging allrounder Mitchell Marsh has suffered a major setback after being told he must not bowl for the rest of this season due to a stress injury in his back. As a result, Marsh will not play in the remainder of the Commonwealth Bank Series but his time-frame for a comeback won't be determined until he has scans in Melbourne on Saturday.

Marsh, 20, has been part of Australia's squad throughout the tri-series but could not oust his fellow allrounder Daniel Christian from the side. After a lengthy spell in the SCG nets on Thursday, ahead of Friday's match against Sri Lanka, Marsh told the team physio Alex Kountouris of pain in his back and scans revealed the problem.

"Mitch complained of quite significant lower-back pain during yesterday's training session at the SCG," Kountouris said. "After assessing him and considering his age we organised scans in Sydney last night that have confirmed our suspicions of a lower-back bone stress injury. "He will have further scans tomorrow in Melbourne to determine the extent of the injury, which will help outline the period of rest required from cricket. We expect that he will not play as a bowler for the remainder of this season but will be in a position to provide further information once we have the results of tomorrow's scans."

Michael Clarke will not return to the squad for the next CB Series fixture, against India in Brisbane on February 19, as he has not yet fully recovered from a right hamstring injury. George Bailey, the Tasmania batsman, has been added to the squad as a standby batsman. Ricky Ponting will continue to captain the team in Clarke's absence.

Victorian spinner Jon Holland, who was called up as backup for Xavier Doherty, will remain in the squad, though Doherty recovered from back spasms to play against Sri Lanka in Sydney on February 17.

Clarke, who missed the game against Sri Lanka with a grade one hamstring strain, had initially said he hoped to be back for the Brisbane match, but will sit it out on advice from Kountouris. "Michael Clarke is progressing well in his recovery from a right hamstring injury but remains unavailable for selection in Brisbane," Kountouris said. "His availability for the ODI in Hobart will be determined early next week."

Bailey had captained Australia in the Twenty20s against India, without having played a game for Australia before, and has now been earmarked for a spot in the one-day team. "This selection is recognition that the national selection panel consider George the next batsman in line for Australian one-day selection," Mickey Arthur, Australia coach and member of the selection panel, said.

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

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