Clarke fears for Hussey
Injury problems complicate Australia's World Cup build-up
Last Updated: 20/01/11 3:29pm
Fitness race: Hussey (left) and Clarke
Stand-in skipper Michael Clarke admits Australia may be reluctant to risk taking injured batsman Mike Hussey to the World Cup.
"Hopefully he's okay. He's been a huge player, not only this summer in the Test format but over a long period of time in one-day cricket."
Michael Clarke on Mike Hussey Quotes of the week
Hussey is unlikely to be fit for the start of the February 19-April 2 tournament on the subcontinent after undergoing hamstring surgery on Wednesday.
The 35-year-old faces an intense rehabilitation programme in the coming weeks with Cricket Australia admitting they may not know a possible return date for another three weeks.
If that was the case, Hussey's availability would not be known until just before Australia are due to leave on February 9, with two practice games to follow before their World Cup opener against Zimbabwe on February 21.
Hussey's hopes of flying with the team are, however, complicated by skipper Ricky Ponting's return from a broken finger suffered during Australia's Ashes defeat.
Ponting has only a slight chance of returning during the current seven-match series against England, and Clarke revealed, before the second game in Hobart, that Australia could be unwilling to risk taking two recovering batsmen.
"I guess the concern is that we're trying to get the skipper as fit as possible also," said Clarke.
"Hopefully he will be able to take part in our two practice games and the selectors will have to weigh up if can we take Huss as well knowing he might not be fit for those first couple of practice games.
"We'll know more in time. I think the main thing right now is that Huss does everything in his power to make it heal."
Clarke admitted that should Hussey be ruled out it would be a major blow following an Ashes series in which he was the stand-out batsman.
"Hopefully he's okay. He's been a huge player, not only this summer in the Test format but over a long period of time in one-day cricket," he added.
"I think everybody's hoping that he gets fit and we get him onto the park sooner rather than later because he's had a huge impact in the one-day format for us batting in the middle order.
"I think in the subcontinent conditions are going to be quite tough for the middle order players and I think his experience and knowledge in those conditions would be really helpful."