Andrew Symonds' back injury is not expected to be a long-term threat to the allrounder's fitness, according to Australia's physiotherapist. Symonds missed the 84-run victory over West Indies in the first match of the five-game one-day series, but the team management is hopeful he will be available before the contest concludes.
Symonds suffered the problem while bowling in the third Test and, despite being a fast healer, has struggled to shake it off. "It's just a one-off injury which he'll recover from and we'll go from there," the physio Justin Sheer told AAP. "He's got a strained L4 disc. So that's what is holding him up at the moment.
Sheer said he was unsure why the injury occurred. "It's more one of those ones that probably builds up over a period of time, so it just goes," he said. "As far as time out, it's pretty variable. Some guys are right in a couple of days and some guys take a bit longer. It's hard to say how long it will be for him, but I think it's going to be a short-term thing."
Australia have some extra cover following the decision to keep the wicketkeeper Luke Ronchi on the tour. Ronchi, who opened in the Twenty20 on Friday, was called to the Caribbean as a shadow player for Brad Haddin, who broke a finger during the opening Test, and he also offers options as an explosive batsman.
"With Hadds' finger the way it is, it's probably only going to take another bad knock on it and he might have to miss a game," Ponting said. "And with the couple of Friday-Sunday games we've got, if he happened to hurt it on the Friday it might struggle to come up for the Sunday game, so it makes sense to keep Ronchi here. The last thing we need is Mike Hussey or someone going behind the stumps and getting an injured finger, so a specialist keeper who can bat as well as him is a good inclusion."