Michael Clarke, right, congratulates James Faulkner for taking the wicket of England’s Jonathan Trott at the Oval on August 25.
Michael Clarke, right, congratulates James Faulkner for taking the wicket of England’s Jonathan Trott at the Oval on August 25. Getty Images

Injury puts the strain on James Faulkner

STAR all-rounder James Faulkner is still in the dark over when he will make his comeback to the Australian team.

The 24-year-old suffered a side strain while bowling in the final of the tri-series against England at the WACA Ground in Perth on Sunday and underwent scans in Melbourne on Monday.

Cricket Australia physiotherapist Alex Kountouris said Faulkner would miss the World Cup opener against England at the MCG on Saturday, February 14.

"Scans on James Faulkner's injured side have confirmed a moderate-grade abdominal muscle strain which is consistent with a 'typical' fast-bowling side strain injury," he said.

"He will receive intensive treatment for the next two weeks before we can determine when he can return to batting and bowling."

Faulkner (pictured) will travel with Australia's squad to Adelaide on Friday to continue his treatment with team medical staff.

He has until February 21 to prove his fitness or face the prospect of missing the whole tournament.

Meanwhile, 21-year-old Travis Head will become the youngest captain in South Australia's 122-year first- class history, after Johan Botha stood down.

While Head has led South Australia at under-17 and under-19 level, there are some who believe he has been elevated prematurely, given he is in just his fourth senior season, and his 1388 runs at less than 30 do not include a first-class century.

But SACA chief executive Keith Bradshaw said it was a "long-term focus" appointing Head, in front of more established teammates Callum Ferguson and Tom Cooper.



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