Injured Katich, Bollinger face short Ashes build-up

Sydney: Australia`s Simon Katich and Doug Bollinger are facing a truncated Ashes build-up as they race to recover from thumb and stomach problems, officials said on Wednesday, adding to the team`s injury woes.

Opening batsman Katich will not return to action until November 10 or 17 after damaging thumb ligaments, while fast bowler Bollinger will have just one match to test his recovery from a stomach strain, the team`s physio said.

Both injuries were suffered during Australia`s 2-0 Test defeat to India, which dropped them to fifth in the Test rankings -- below fourth-placed England -- before the Ashes series, which starts on November 25.

"Since returning home, (Katich) has seen a specialist who advised him take a short break from batting and then return to training," said Cricket Australia physiotherapist Alex Kountouris.

"As such, he has not batted since returning from India but will do so next week."

Kountouris said scans had cleared Bollinger of significant injury and he would resume bowling in the nets next week. However, he will be available for only one domestic match, a week before the Ashes` start in Brisbane.

The physiotherapist said all-rounder Ryan Harris, 31, who played his first two Tests for Australia this year before undergoing knee surgery, was making "good progress" and should also return to domestic cricket before the Ashes.

Australia also have injury concerns over wicketkeeper Brad Haddin, who will return from an elbow injury in Sunday`s Twenty20 game against Sri Lanka along with Peter Siddle, who has been sidelined with a back injury.

Bureau Report