Australia vice-captain Shane Watson's chances of playing in the four-Test series against India are quite bleak, as the all-rounder's recovery from a hamstring and calf injury is slower than expected.
Watson's prospects for the remaining three Tests of the series look dim, as he is yet to resume batting or bowling. The 30-year-old Queenslander continues to work closely with team physiotherapist Alex Kountouris but their sessions have been restricted to the workout in the gymnasium.
"He had a gym session today with Alex but he is not batting or bowling yet. He is a work in progress," a Cricket Australia spokesman was quoted as saying by the Sydney Morning Herald.
Watson, who has not played in five weeks, spoke at a Cricket Australia corporate lunch at the MCG on Monday, saying it hurt him not to be involved in the Boxing Day Test.
His recovery from fitness issues -- the hamstring he strained in Johannesburg last month, and the calf he subsequently re-injured - is slower than expected.
Even if he is passed fit to bat in the series, the likelihood of Watson being a bowling option against India decreases by the day.
He admitted that he needs two weeks of bowling in the nets at a minimum to ready himself for a Test match and there is no suggestion from team officials that he is anywhere near picking up a ball again.
The remaining Tests will be played in Sydney, Perth and Adelaide.