Brett Lee has been cleared of any serious damage to his injured right shoulder after undergoing a scan, but remains "very unlikely" to play for Australia against either Bangladesh or England this weekend, according to their coach, John Buchanan.
Lee suffered a twinge in his right shoulder at Taunton on Wednesday and couldn't complete his spell in Australia's shock four-wicket defeat against Somerset. That was Australia's final warm-up match before they enter the NatWest Series with games this weekend against Bangladesh in Cardiff on Saturday and England in Bristol on Sunday.
On Thursday, Lee, 28, travelled from Cardiff with Australia's physio, Errol Alcott, to see a London specialist in a bid to find out the cause of his injury. It is believed that the bruising to the front of his shoulder is the result of being struck by Andrew Flintoff while batting in the Twenty 20 match on Monday, which may have caused some restriction to Lee's normal bowling action and exacerbated a previous minor, shoulder injury Lee sustained four years ago. Meanwhile, with the Ashes Test series set to start in July, Buchanan made it clear there was no point risking Lee at the start of the triangular.
"I am relieved there is no major damage and I am looking forward to playing for Australia in this upcoming series," said Lee. Buchanan, however, was likely to err on the side of caution. "I think it would be very unlikely that Brett would be playing over the weekend," he said. "[Lee] felt a bit of soreness in the shoulder, so even if it is good news we would probably err on the side of caution."
Australia's defeat against Somerset meant that they had lost two matches in three days after their 100-run Twenty20 defeat against England at the Rose Bowl on Monday. Their captain, Ricky Ponting, said afterwards that he was "angry" and "embarrassed", but Buchanan sought to put the results into perspective. "We are just a bit off the pace at the moment. We are just not right at the top of our game and not playing as we would like - that is obvious.
"We would probably like to be a little further on in terms of application of our skills in the limited-overs game - but that is not the case. We look forward to improving over the course of the tournament."