Australian skipper Tim Paine has ruled out concerns that injured batsman Usman Khawaja is in serious doubt of missing the opening Test of the five-match Ashes series, which is slated to begin at Edgbaston Cricket Ground from August 1.
Khawaja sustained a hamstring strain during Australia's surprising 10-run defeat at the hands of South Africa in their last group stage clash of the 2019 International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cup at Old Trafford in Manchester on July 6. Subsequently, he was ruled out of further participation in the mega event with an expected recovery time of three to four weeks.
Though Khawaja will also be rested for the warm-up clash in Southampton beginning Tuesday, Paine expects the Australian batsman to be "fully fit" ahead of the Ashes series.
"I don't think he's in serious doubt (of missing the first Ashes Test). He's in a rehab stage so the decision has been made that he won't play at this stage," cricket.com.au quoted Paine as saying.
Paine further said that there could also be a possibility that Khawaja might feature in the Playing XI should another player go down.
"There is a possibility, maybe, if something were to happen to someone else he might be right for the back end of the game. But we expect him to be fully fit and available for selection for the first Test," he said.
Recently, Khawaja had indulged in a training session with his side as he batted in the nets and underwent a series of sprints and leg works under the instruction of the medical support staff.
The national selectors are scheduled to name Australia's Ashes squad before traveling to Birmingham on Thursday ahead of the opening Ashes Test.