Australia captain Michael Clarke says he’s confident his chronic back problem will cope with the rigors of back-to-back Ashes series starting in England on July 10.
Clarke, who was diagnosed with a degenerative back condition at the age of 17, has been under an injury cloud since missing the fourth test of Australia’s tour of India in March.
The 32—year—old now faces a rigorous eight months of international cricket, starting with the Champions Trophy one—day tournament next month, followed immediately by the Ashes in England, and then a return Ashes series in Australia starting Nov. 21.
“I’m confident it will be no different to how it has been throughout my career,” Clarke said on Wednesday. “I’ve managed to play 90—odd Test matches and only missed one through my career so that’s a big part of why preparation is so important for me.
“I need to make sure I’m fit. I need to make sure I’m not carrying too much weight. I need to make sure I’m putting in the work to be fit in eight months or 12 months’ time.”
Australia team physiotherapist Alex Kountouris has been monitoring Clarke’s rehabilitation, which has included an intensive two—week boot camp on Clarke’s farm in rural Berrima, New South Wales state.
“My preparation in regards to last year has been very similar to this year,” Clarke said. “It’s just been monitored extra closely by the Australian support staff to make sure I’m getting the strength I need in the areas I need it and to allow me to play not only one series to be well prepared to play the whole 12 months.”