Australia coach Mickey Arthur has revealed skipper Michael Clarke may return to action in their Ashes warm-up match against Somerset at Taunton.
Clarke has been having treatment on a persistent back problem that kept him out of their disappointing ICC Champions Trophy, where they finished bottom of the group A table.
But he has progressed well and will be keen to have some time in the middle ahead of the opening Test with England, which gets underway at Trent Bridge on 10 July.
Australia play Worcestershire in another four-day tour match after the game with Somerset, which begins on Wednesday, and Arthur is confident Clarke will able to feature over the summer.
"He's getting better every day. He's doing a massive amount of work at the moment," said Arthur.
"He's training the house down in terms of getting his back right. We are hoping that he'll start against Somerset in Taunton on Wednesday. He's such an influential leader.
"He oozes authority so it has been a little bit disjointed through the Champions Trophy not having 'Pup' play, not only because he is our best batter but because of his leadership as well."
Arthurs also confirmed he has a good idea of what his batting line-up will be for the opening Test and reaffirmed his belief they boast the best bowling attack in the world.
"I've got a very good idea what it (the batting line-up) is going to be for the first Test," added Arthur.
"There is probably one position that is up for grabs and we'll have a look at how that transpires through Somerset and Worcester.
"I think we have the best all-round bowling attack in world cricket. I really do and I'm talking about depth-wise.
"If we pick up an injury we have someone who can be just as effective."