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Australia confident injury list will shorten
February 28, 2007 18:24 IST
Australia are confident all-rounder Andrew Symonds and opener Matthew Hayden will be fit for the latter stages of the World Cup, starting in the Caribbean next month.
Captain Ricky Ponting told reporters as the side prepared to fly to the West Indies that both are on target to be fit for the business end of the tournament, starting with the March 24 clash with world number one side South Africa.
Ponting said his own back problem and the hip injury that forced Michael Clarke out of the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy series against New Zealand are responding well to treatment.
Symonds remains the biggest worry though, after he underwent surgery following a torn bicep.
"He's a fair way ahead of where everyone thought he might be as far as his recovery goes, which is great news for us," Ponting said.
"He's got a bit more movement and strength than what they thought he might have had.
"The only thing that's going to be hard is restraining him and making sure he doesn't get too far ahead of himself and starts doing too much too early."
Symonds is likely to miss the opening group matches against Scotland and the Netherlands, as is Hayden, who is recovering from a broken toe suffered while smashing his Australian record 181 not out in the final match of the 3-0 series loss to the Kiwis.
"He's only a week into it now," Ponting said of the burly opener's recovery.
"He said he feels he's going to be a bit of a pain in the backside to the rest of the squad for a couple of weeks. He's going to be sitting around not doing much.
"But after a couple of weeks, knowing what Matty's like, once we start playing some cricket, it's going to be pretty hard to keep him out, I think.
"We've just got to make sure that we don't bring him back too early and have it happen again and put him out for the rest of the tournament."
Australia's first game is against Scotland in St Kitts on March 14.
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