No risks: Pattinson, Harris

Fast bowler James Pattinson has aggravated a stress fracture in his back. Picture: GETTY IMAGES
Fast bowler James Pattinson has aggravated a stress fracture in his back. Picture: GETTY IMAGES


Cricket Australia plans a softly softly approach with all injured players between now and the summer, making it clear that next year's World Cup and Ashes are the priority.

James Pattinson and Ryan Harris are Australia's only injured players, and both fast bowlers will be given a rehabilitation program which focuses first and foremost on the high-stakes schedule in 2015.

Australia head to Zimbabwe for a triangular one-day international series in August and then to the UAE to face Pakistan in October, before tackling India in the home summer.

But team physiotherapist Alex Kountouris admits it would be foolish for Australia to take any risks with Pattinson, Harris or any other fitness-hampered player, with so much on the line down the track.

"We're going to be very conservative with what we do," Kountouris said.

"Trying to rush them back for the first series of that block, there's so much to lose, " he said.

"If you reaggravate them and they miss another six months, they miss a lot of cricket, whereas you'd rather miss one series and make sure they're right."

Harris is recovering from knee surgery and, at 34 and with a history of injury problems, CA will be taking it slow with his comeback.

Pattinson has aggravated a previous stress fracture in his back and, as well as going through an anticipated four-month recovery time, will also have to refine his action with coaching staff before he can return to the field.

Kountouris is confident Pattinson can still have a "normal career" but admits if the 24-year-old continues to suffer setbacks in coming years, his long-term prospects will become a concern.

As a result, it could be as late as midway through next summer before Pattinson returns to action.

"We're confident he'll be right to play at some level at the start of the season ... but if it's midway through, it depends on how well it goes with his technique work and whether he's having any soreness when he comes back.

"He's still no different to other players we've had in the past. If he has a couple more recurrences in the next year or so, then we start to worry. Mitchell Johnson at the same age was struggling with stress fractures."

Harris is eight weeks post-surgery and will be reviewed at the 12-week mark of his recovery.

"We anticipate a long, slow rehab with him. There's not one game or tournament we're aiming for," Kountouris said. AAP


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