Australia are hopeful that Brad Haddin will not only be fit for the first Test against India at the Gabba next month, but also for part of the ODI series against South Africa that precedes it. Haddin has been cleared of any fracture in his right shoulder after landing awkwardly while diving for a catch on the second morning in Abu Dhabi, where he spent Pakistan's entire second innings off the field.
Haddin also spent part of the first innings in the rooms having the injury assessed, and David Warner and Glenn Maxwell both filled in behind the stumps at various times throughout the game. Haddin batted in both innings of the 356-run defeat but appeared hampered by a lack of fluent movement from his shoulder. Early indications, however, are that the injury is not as major as it appeared.
"Brad has an AC joint injury that we x-rayed during the game and that showed there was no fracture," Alex Kountouris, the team physio said. "He will return to Sydney and have treatment and depending on his recovery that will determine his availability for the ODI series against South Africa."
Before Haddin sustained the injury, the selectors had already announced that he would be rested from the first two one-day games against South Africa in Perth, where Matthew Wade will take the gloves. It is possible that Wade will remain in the side throughout the the five-match series, but if Haddin responds well after arriving home he might make an appearance late in the series.
Had he been ruled out of the first Test against India, which starts in Brisbane on December 4, it would not have been obvious who would have replaced him in the Test side. Wade is the keeper with the most recent Test experience, but Western Australia's Sam Whiteman is well-regarded by the selectors, while Queensland's Chris Hartley and Peter Nevill of New South Wales would have been safe options.
"Yeah definitely," captain Michael Clarke said when asked if he was confident Haddin would be fit to take on India. "I'm hopeful that he'll still take part in the one-day series against South Africa.
"I think he went for a scan and there was no break there so it's just bruising. He's in a little bit of pain still today but I think in 10 days' time and Hadds will be a lot better than where he is now."
Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @brydoncoverdale