Shane Watson threw a scare into Australia's first Test squad when he left the field with a hamstring problem during Queensland's one-day game against Western Australia at the WACA. Watson, who was picked to bat No. 6 against England, mouthed "ow" after feeling the pain in his delivery stride of the first ball of the 32nd over.
Watson walked back to the end of his run-up and began rubbing the back of his right leg before Mitchell Johnson and Jimmy Maher, the captain, went over to him. After a short meeting Watson left the field for treatment and will not bat in the match. "He said he felt a twinge and I told him to go off because he had bigger fish to fry next week," Maher said at the innings break. Watson will fly back to Brisbane and be assessed by Cricket Australia's medical staff on Saturday.
The problem continues Watson's run of poorly-timed complaints. Back stress fractures prevented him from going to the 2003 World Cup and he was playing his third Test at the Gabba last year when he popped his shoulder while fielding. He spent half of the season in rehabilitation but returned to Australia's one-day squad in South Africa and this week earned a Test recall ahead of Michael Clarke.
It was the second injury for Australia's squad today following Damien Martyn's withdrawal from Western Australia's side due to tendonitis in his left elbow. Damien McCann, the team doctor, said the decision was a precautionary measure.
"He is expected to be fully fit by the time he arrives in Brisbane to go into camp with the Australian team," McCann said. The squad assembles in Brisbane on Saturday.