Michael Clarke to fly home early to treat injured back

Last Updated: Fri, Mar 22, 2013 15:49 hrs

New Delhi:  Ruled out of the final Test due to a back injury, Australian captain Michael Clarke will be flying back home on Friday night to receive treatment.

Clarke watched the first day's play of the final Test from the Australian dressing room but will not be around for the last few days of the tour as he has been advised a series of tests on his back and a hamstring complaint that affected him during the summer.

Clarke has been battling a degenerative disc condition since he was 17 and will be assessed by medicos to ensure he is at peak fitness for the Champions Trophy in June before the Ashes showdown in England.

"There has been some slow improvement, but he is still well short of full function so was unable to train and (was not) available to play the fourth Test," CA physiotherapist Alex Kountouris said.

"The plan is for Michael to return to Sydney as soon as possible to have a series of scans and we will monitor his progress over the coming days before deciding on the best course of action," Kountouris was quoted as saying by the Australian media.

"We will be taking the opportunity to investigate and manage his ongoing hamstring injury that has been intermittently troubling him since the Australian summer. A decision on his return to cricket will be made once we have evaluated the scans and considered the possible management options."

Clarke's unavailability due to the injury led to all-rounder Shane Watson captaining the Australian side in the final Test.

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