Ben Hilfenhaus hopes to be able to walk through his bowling action in the next couple of weeks as he plans a comeback in June following a long-term knee injury. Hilfenhaus hasn't played for Australia since November and last delivered some overs in a club game in December due to a severe tendonitis problem.
Last year Hilfenhaus developed into a highly effective Test bowler in nine matches, particularly in England where he topped the Ashes wicket list. He is crossing his fingers that he can be part of the series against Pakistan there in July.
"It has been very frustrating,'' he told the Sydney Morning Herald. ''When you look at it, I have missed a fair bit of cricket. There is no good time to get injured. It is disappointing, but at the end of the day if it means that my career goes longer then it will be worth it down the track."
He was forced into a lengthy period of rehabilitation after being Man of the Match in the opening game of the summer against West Indies. Initially he was expected to miss only the second Test, but he has been unable to bowl properly since.
''Not a lot of people know about tendonitis," he said. "It is one of those things that develop over time. My worry is deceleration, the impact of stopping after running in to bowl. The tendons don't like change so I will have to take it slow. Hopefully I can walk through my action in a couple of weeks.''
Australia A play a four-day match against Sri Lanka A in June and Hilfenhaus would like to be part of that to prove he is ready to return to the Test squad. While he and Peter Siddle, who has a back stress fracture, were away Australia were boosted by the performances of Mitchell Johnson, Doug Bollinger and Ryan Harris.
''Everyone gets an opportunity when people get injured," he said. "I have just got to hopefully get back to bowling well. It might be a tough road ahead but it is a good challenge for me. The biggest thing for me is that once I do start bowling again, I prove that I can still bowl well."