Double injury blow for Aussies

  • Last Updated: December 17 2012, 14:17 GMT

Australia have been dealt a double injury blow with the news that they could be without two key players for the second Test against Sri Lanka in Melbourne.

Michael Clarke: Faces race against time to be fit for Boxing Day Test
Michael Clarke: Faces race against time to be fit for Boxing Day Test

Skipper Michael Clarke is doubtful with a hamstring problem while bowler Ben Hilfenhaus is definitely absent due to a side muscle strain.

The 31-year-old Clarke, arguably the batsman of the year thanks to four double centuries and 1,489 runs at an average of over 100, may also not be able to field on the final day of the first Test in Hobart.

Team physio Alex Kountouris confirmed: "He's going off for an MRI scan. He's done something to his hamstring and we'll know the extent of that on Tuesday."

Hilfenhaus, meanwhile, is certainly out of the next Text which starts on Boxing Day.

The fast bowler left the field during the third day of the first Test and did not return when Sri Lanka began their second innings late on Monday.

Australia's coach Mickey Arthur does not know how long Hilfenhaus will be out of action but will definitely be absent at the MCG.

Arthur said: "He's certainly not a starter for Boxing Day and we'll see after that."

Hilfenhaus returned for the Sri Lankan series after sitting out the third Test against South Africa in Perth recently due to a sore knee.

The 29-year-old bowled just 12.2 overs at Hobart taking 1-30, and will now hope to be fit for the third and final Test in Sydney early in the new year.

Mitchell Johnson, who was named 12th man for the Hobart clash, is likely to be recalled for the MCG.

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