Back injury will not shorten my career: Clarke

New Delhi: Australia captain Michael Clarke said on Thursday that his chronic back injury will in no way cut short his international cricket career.

"No, I don`t think so, it won`t have any impact," he said." It hasn`t had any impact in regards to my Test cricket at this stage. I don`t think it will play any role at all," Clarke told reporters ahead of the fourth and final Test here.

Clarke suffered his latest bout of back pain in Mohali - during the third Test that Australia lost by six wickets - but played on after taking pain-killers.

"Right now I`ve been able to manage it for what am I now, 31? I had my first scan at 17 that said I had degeneration in my disc. [If] I`ve been able to manage it this long; I don`t see any reason why I can`t continue to manage it for the rest of my career."

Clarke received intensive treatment from team physiotherapist Alex Kountouris after Mohali. Clarke was off the field for a while during which wicketkeeper Brad Haddin took over the reins of captaincy.

However, the return of vice-captain Shane Watson after a one-match suspension handed to him by Cricket Australia for disciplinary reasons means, that the all-rounder will captain the side if Clarke pulls out.

"It`s a combination of things," Clarke said. "My back gets irritated when I`m in flexion and I rotate, so I hurt it the other day doing fielding, sprinting for a ball, picking it up one way and throwing it off balance, which is exactly the opposite to what my back likes.

"But I`ve done that a number of times throughout my career in regards to every time I field. Sometimes with degeneration of the disc, it can flare up, but I will manage it as well as I can. I`m very grateful for the people around, especially Alex Kountouris, and my physio when I`m back in Sydney, to keep me on the park consistently."

The Border-Gavaskar series has already been surrendered, so the only thing that can be gained in Delhi is pride.

"I don`t know if it`s as bad as it`s been. It`s not a nice feeling," he said. "It was very uncomfortable and it impacted my performance [in Mohali], in regards to not the number of runs I made but the movement.

"I felt I couldn`t move down the wicket because I was so restricted and I`d hate to see what the fielding side of it looked like. For me as a batsman, if I can`t walk out there and make a hundred because this is going to restrict me doing that, then I don`t think it`s fair on the team to take the field.

"It`s slowly improving. If you ask Alex or the team doctor they might have a different impression but, hopefully, a good day, plenty of treatment, and I wake up in the morning, feel magnificent and I walk out and play another Test match for Australia."

IANS