MELBOURNE, Dec 17 (Reuters) - Michael Clarke’s candid admission that he may never play again after another physical breakdown caught his Australia team mates off guard, but paceman Ryan Harris is convinced the injury-prone skipper will be back to lead the team.
Harris and Clarke are both out of the second test against India, which started in Brisbane on Wednesday, but the bowler will be expected to be fit for the third test in Melbourne after recovering from a minor quadricep strain.
Clarke, however, has been ruled out of the rest of the four-test series after suffering back and hamstring injuries during the first test win in Adelaide last week.
“When the match finished in Adelaide I was so rapt with the win... that I was oblivious to the pessimistic injury news regarding the skipper, with him telling the media he might never play again,” Harris wrote in a column carried by Fairfax newspapers.
”I‘m not sure many of the boys actually knew that. I only found out when I left the ground and got back to my room to get changed and chucked on the TV, to check out the news of the day, and saw that.
”I honestly think Michael will be back after this hamstring surgery. He was obviously being honest in his assessment of what he’d done and what his body’s been through and is going through again.
“It’s not a nice thing to confront your playing mortality, I know because I go through it every day, and the possibility you may have played your last game.”
The 35-year-old Harris has long been dogged by a troublesome knee, for which he had surgery in March and spent the best part of the year in a prolonged, frustrating rehabilitation.
Clarke had surgery on his hamstring on Tuesday and gave it a thumbs-up on his Twitter feed.
“Thanks for all the well wishes. Surgery went really well,” he tweeted on Wednesday. “A few days of rest and recover and watch the boys play well from my bed.”
The team physio was to give an update on his condition later on Wednesday, Clarke added.
Batsman Steven Smith is leading Australia for the rest of the India series. (Writing by Ian Ransom; Editing by John O‘Brien)