Watson has muscle strain

Australia all-rounder Shane Watson is receiving treatment for a left hamstring strain and could be in doubt for the first Ashes test against England beginning Nov. 21 in Brisbane. Cricket Australia team physiotherapist Alex Kountouris said in a statement that scans showed a low-grade muscle strain "and just how well he responds to this will determine how quickly he can resume full training and match preparation." "The medical team will be doing everything possible to get him fit and available for selection ahead of the first test ... we expect to have a clearer picture of his progress later in the week," Kountouris added.

Watson suffered the injury while bowling in the final one-day match against India on Nov. 2 in Bangalore. His long injury history raises concerns the No. 3 batsman could be ruled out of the England opener or at least restricted to only batting in the Gabba match. He is Australia's fourth seam bowler. The former test vice-captain will miss New South Wales's domestic match with Queensland starting next Wednesday, which would mean he'll go into the Ashes series without a recent first-class match.

If Watson is fit to take his part, it would appear Australia's only vacancy will be the No. 6 batting position, with George Bailey the leading contender.