MELBOURNE Australia paceman James Pattinson will make a tentative return to competitive cricket when he lines up for Melbourne club Dandenong this weekend, raising his hopes of taking part in the Ashes after being sidelined with a back injury.
"We can confirm he is returning as a batsman only at this stage. He has a carefully mapped out return for the month of December and we can reassess after that period," Pat Howard, Cricket Australia's high performance manager, said on the governing body's website on Friday.
The 23-year-old suffered a stress fracture in his back that ruled him out of most of the northern Ashes series but has targeted being fit for the third test in Perth starting December 13.
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