Australia fast bowler Mitchell Johnson will not be available to Kings XI Punjab at the start of their 2014 Champions League T20 campaign. Cricket Australia said Johnson had a rib problem during the recent tri-series in Zimbabwe and would only be released to play for Kings XI depending on how he responded to the ongoing treatment.
"Mitch had some rib pain during the recent ODI tour of Zimbabwe. Since returning to Australia, he has had some scans that have confirmed some irritation of the tip of the rib," CA physiotherapist Alex Kountouris said. "He has had a break from bowling since returning to Australia and is having regular treatment to resolve the problem. He has not fully recovered as yet and will be reviewed over the next week."
CA's executive general manager team performance Pat Howard said: "A decision on his release to play for the Kings XI will depend on how he responds to treatment."
Kings XI's first game of the tournament is against Hobart Hurricanes on September 18. Their coach Sanjay Bangar had been hopeful about Johnson's availability but had said the team could cope without him too.
"Whether he is available or not, we still have a group of individuals who are capable of executing the role that is given to them," Bangar said. "It will be good if he is available, but we are ready to cope with the eventuality of his non-availability."
Kings XI were runners-up in the 2014 IPL, losing the final to Kolkata Knight Riders after finishing first in the league stage. Johnson took 17 wickets in 14 matches at 26.11 apiece.