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Stuart Clark's hopes of a Test recall this summer are all but over after he withdrew from New South Wales' Sheffield Shield match with a back injury. Clark had been mentioned as a possible replacement for Peter Siddle if he did not recover from a hamstring problem in time for Wednesday's Perth Test, but Australia named an unchanged squad.
Clark suffered back pain during Wednesday's FR Cup match and returned to Sydney to speak to Cricket New South Wales medical staff about a recovery timetable. However, Clark was not expecting to be available until January, which would effectively rule him out of contention for all of Australia's home Tests.
"I experienced pain during the Ford Ranger Cup match and will follow the recovery process as set down by the Cricket New South Wales medical staff," Clark said. "I am confident that the recovery process will allow me to be available in the new year."
Clark was meant to captain New South Wales in the Sheffield Shield game and he has been replaced as leader by the allrounder Moises Henriques. It will be the first taste of state captaincy for Henriques, 22, who was given the task ahead of more experienced candidates including Phil Jaques.