ICC Trophy: Australia captain Michael Clarke expected to face England

Last Updated: 05/06/13 3:12pm

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Michael Clarke: Long-standing back trouble

Michael Clarke: Long-standing back trouble

Sky Bet

Australia expect Michael Clarke to be fit to face England in their Champions Trophy opener on Saturday.

Clarke missed Tuesday's 243-run defeat to India in Cardiff after being sent to London for specialist treatment on a lower-back injury.

The Australia captain has a long-standing back problem which hampered his last two Ashes tours, ruled him out of the final Test of his country's 4-0 series defeat in India and the recent Indian Premier League.

However, George Bailey, who led the side against India in Clarke's absence, expects the 32-year-old batsman to be fit for the Edgbaston clash.

"It is just precautionary with him. It's his back which is always going to be the issue with Michael," said Bailey.

"He has had some stiffness there in the last couple of days and with such an important tournament coming up we did not see fit to risk him in these games, and it's a reasonably big summer after this tournament as well so it is a case of managing him almost on a day-to-day basis.

"The plan is for him to play Saturday, that is what we are working towards, that he will be available Saturday.

"It would be a huge blow if he is not available, he is our best batsman and our captain and he is someone we need in the side and look forward to having in the side."

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