Allrounder James Faulkner will miss the opening match of Australia’s World Cup campaign against England and his subsequent involvement in the tournament remains unclear after scans confirmed he has suffered a side strain.
Faulkner, who has filled the role of Australia’s specialist finisher in the final overs of his team’s batting innings, sustained the injury while bowling on Sunday’s final of the ODI tri-series in Perth against the English.
He underwent scans here on Monday to determine the extent of the damage, and Australia’s physiotherapist Alex Kountouris confirmed Tuesday Faulkner would miss at least two weeks with "a moderate level" strain, according to Cricket Australia (CA) website.
Kountouris described the damage as "consistent with a ‘typical’ fast bowling side strain injury" and indicated the allrounder was facing two weeks on the sidelines before he would be able to return to full-scale practice.
That effectively means he has no chance to play in Australia’s tournament opener against England at the MCG on Feb 14, and faces the same battle with the clock as captain Michael Clarke to be fit for the second match against Bangladesh on Feb 21.
"He (Faulkner) will receive intensive treatment for the next two weeks before we can determine when he can return to batting and bowling," Kountouris said.
Side strains are notoriously problematic for fast bowlers and often require four to six weeks on the sidelines for fear of suffering a recurrence if players return prematurely.