Melbourne: Australian batsman Usman Khawaja is set to pick up a cricket bat this week for the first time since injuring his knee last summer, and remains determined to lead Australia A on their tour of India in July.
Khawaja was named captain of the potential-packed four-day and one-day A squads to play a series of matches against India A in July that will also feature a return to red-ball cricket for World Cup-winning speedster Patrick Cummins, reports cricket.com.au.
Khawaja had set the Matador One-Day Cup alight with Queensland and seemed on track for a big summer until he tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in a training drill with the Sydney Thunder just before the start of the Big Bash League.
The injury, rare in cricket, required a full knee reconstruction and ended his season. The talented and classy left-hander has stayed the course and battled hard to recover, with his eyes firmly set on leading the A tour.
"I've been running for four weeks now and doing straight lines at a 100 percent. I start doing agility training tomorrow (Thursday), nearly five months after getting injured," Khawaja told cricket.com.au on Wednesday.
"I'll be back holding a bat this week, I'm going to be doing throw downs and hopefully progress from there. I've been selected for the Australia A team in July, fingers crossed I will be fit for that. I feel pretty good so far and every week it's getting better."
Khawaja, still only 28, played the last of his nine Tests during the 2013 Ashes tour.