Lee and McGrath both a chance

Australia have finally recieved some positive news on the injury front in the lead-up to the crucial third Ashes test at Old Trafford. Both Brett Lee and Glenn McGrath, who have been expected to miss the test, have improved rapidly in the few days off between the second and third tests, and if the words of Ricky Ponting are anything to go by both may yet make the final 11 on the morning of the match.

Brett Lee seems the more likely of the two to play, after spending two nights in hospital with an apparent knee infection, he was passed fit after a training session on Wednesday morning and has been declared available for selection. Glenn McGrath stood on a ball during a warm-up rugby match before the Edgbaston test, and injured ligaments in his ankle in the process. The freak accident ruled him out of the second test, and there were fears he had done serious enough damage to keep him out of the rest of the series, but after a surprisingly speedy recovery he could be seen bowling in the nets along with Lee. Ricky Ponting was circumspect about McGrath’s chances of playing in a Wednesday afternoon press conference, but maintained that there is a chance he could play, and the decision would be made after a fitness test immediately before the match.

Either way, the inclusion of Brett Lee will be a boon for Australia, as the 28 year old fast bowler has made a good return to test cricket, picking up 10 wickets in the first two tests of the series. With the pitch considered likely to be fast and bouncy, Lee’s pace is likely to warrant his inclusion along with two other seamers, and see the omission of Stuart Macgill from the lineup.

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