Doubts linger over Watson

Watson, who also underwent further scans on his strained hamstring this afternoon, bowled for a short period in the nets at Brisbane Grammar School today.

Watson began bowling from a virtual standstill before graduating to a three step run up. Even off this shortened approach, he grimaced occasoinally during an abbreviated follow-through.

Despite the ongoing concerns, a team spokesman said the medical staff were treating the injury as a “minor strain”.

Speaking to the media, Australian vice-captain Adam Gilchrist said “Shane’s injury changes the balance and what our plans are a fraction”. I don’t think it’s too disruptive whether a decision is made today, tomorrow or the day before the game, if we wait that long. The guys know Michael Clarke will probably come in so everyone sort of has an idea of what’s going on.”

For his part, stand-by player Clarke said the situation was “awkward” but wished Watson a speedy recovery: “I do wish Watto gets better and I really hope he pulls up okay. He’s worked hard to get here and I know the selectors will give him a few days to see how he goes. But I can’t afford not to be 100% ready if I do get the chance.”

Should Watson be ruled out, the selectors are less likely to risk either firebrand Shaun Tait or rookie left-armer Mitchell Johnson instad of the steadier Stuart Clark.

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