Ryan Harris is confident he will be fit well before the Ashes, but admitted Cricket Australia was nervous about him going to the Indian Premier League from which he has returned with a sore Achilles.
Harris on Friday received encouraging results from a scan of his heel.
The soreness filled Harris with dread given his history of breaking down, but he hopes to be out of action for only a few weeks, and has not given up on playing during the Australia A tour of the UK that precedes the Test series.
“The scan showed nothing so it’s basically tendonitis of the Achilles and I just have to keep rehabbing and get it nice and strong and be ready to go by England hopefully,” Harris said.
“I’m still aiming to play a couple of Australia A games, definitely, then there’s two tour matches before the first Test. There’s going to be plenty of time to bowl, and if I have to bowl in the nets to get the workload up I will.”
Harris is the second fast bowler in a week to return injured from the IPL – Ben Hilfenhaus, who missed the Ashes squad, has knee tendonitis.
Cricket Australia would have preferred Harris to stay home for a few weeks after the domestic season because there had been a spike in his workload after his comeback from a shoulder injury. But because he was not injured, he was cleared to play in the IPL.
“They didn’t tell me not to go. Going over to another competition before a big series like England, of course they’re going to be nervous but it was very important for me to go and keep bowling. I’d had enough time off, and if I’d had this soreness before I went there’s no way I would have gone,” Harris said.
It’s exactly a year since Harris last played a Test, but the renewal of his Cricket Australia contract and inclusion in the Ashes squad speaks of the high regard in which he is held when he’s fit.
The selectors have been prepared to rest Harris between high-impact bursts at Test level in the past, but he has a more ambitious outlook.
“I will always say I will aim to play five Tests. It’s obviously very tough to play five especially with my history, but if I went over there aiming to play two out of five or three out of five, that’s not great thinking,” he said.
“If I’m feeling OK I’m sure they will let me play as much as I can. The other thing is I’ve got to get back in the team yet, there’s some pretty good bowlers in there at the moment.”
James Faulkner, the young allrounder who withstood a fierce performance from Harris to make 89 in last month’s Sheffield Shield final, said the Queensland quick would be enormously important to the Ashes campaign.
“Ryan has a very good record for Australia and he was quite tough to face in shield final,” Faulkner said. “He’s always at you, he’s relentless in the way he approaches his bowling.”
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.