ICC Champions Trophy: Australia captain Michael Clarke to miss New Zealand game

Last Updated: 11/06/13 5:35pm

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Clarke: Still struggling

Clarke: Still struggling

Sky Bet

Australia captain Michael Clarke will miss Wednesday's ICC Champions Trophy match against New Zealand as he continues to struggle with a lower back injury.

The batsman missed Saturday's opening defeat to England due to the troublesome complaint and Cricket Australia has now confirmed that he will not feature against the Black Caps.

The 32-year-old's continuing problems with the long-standing injury will cast further doubts over his availability for the remainder of the tournament and this summer's Ashes which begin on July 10 at Trent Bridge.

Cricket Australia physiotherapist Alex Kountouris said: "Michael is continuing to have intensive treatment in London, and whilst he is making good progress, he has not improved sufficiently enough to play the game against New Zealand on Wednesday.

"We will continue to monitor his progress and determine his availability for next week's final group game against Sri Lanka."

Clarke has suffered from regular back problems during his career and most recently suffered a relapse during the 4-0 series defeat in India.

He was also absent from the Champions Trophy warm-up games against West Indies and India and has been receiving specialist treatment in London in a bid to regain his fitness.

Australia's final group game will be against Sri Lanka on June 17 although that could prove to be a dead rubber should they lose to New Zealand and England beat the Sri Lankans on Thursday.

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