Usman Khawaja suffers injury setback

Perth: Australian batsman Usman Khawaja said Sunday he will resist the temptation to rush his return from a hamstring injury. Cricket Australia suggested Khawaja's earliest return would be in the second Test against the West Indies in Melbourne starting on December 26, although Khawaja said he was pleased with the results of his scan and still hoped to be available for the first Test of that series, starting on December 10 in Hobart.

Usman Khawaja. Pic/AFP
Usman Khawaja. Pic/AFP

But he said he would assess his recovery and not return too soon. The left-hander strained his left hamstring in the field during the second Test against New Zealand and admitted it was a tough blow, having been plagued by hamstring and knee problems in recent years. "I was pretty shattered yesterday," Khawaja said. "It is never nice getting injured, it always sucks. "The physios and doctors are pretty adamant I take my time so that when I do come back I'm 100 percent.

"The scan was pretty good news and it feels pretty good, I'd like to be available for the first Test but I have to assess how my hamstring pulls up and how I am recovering. "I need to nip it in the bud and make sure I am not trying to come back too early and have it happen again." Khawaja said he felt tightness in the hamstring during the first Test against the Kiwis in Brisbane, but felt much better heading into the Perth match.

"My hamstring was pretty tight during the last Test match," he said. "I managed to get through that Test match and felt alright in this one and before I did it, I felt really good." Khawaja scored centuries in each of the first two Tests against the Kiwis and was looking to cement his place at number three. His absence will open the door for a number of players, including experienced left-hander Shaun Marsh and uncapped West Australian opener Cameron Bancroft.

Khawaja was recalled to the Australian side for the first Test against New Zealand at the Gabba, having missed most of the last Australian season with a serious knee injury. Having previously played just nine Tests since debuting against England in Sydney in 2011, he posted his maiden Test century in Brisbane, making 174 batting at number three. Khawaja followed up with 121 in the Australian first innings in Perth. The 28-year-old said he had not sought assurance from the selectors that he would be selected when fit.

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