Melbourne: Australian star all-rounder and vice-captain Shane Watson's recovery from hamstring and calf injury has been slower than expected and he could miss the entire four-Test series against India.
Watson was expected to be fit for the second Test in Sydney, but is yet to resume batting or bowling. The 30-year-old Queenslander is working with Australian team at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) and so far has restricted his training to workouts in the gym.
"He had a gym session today with Alex Kountouris (team physio) but he is not batting or bowling yet. He is a work in progress," a Cricket Australia spokesman was quoted as saying by Sydney Morning Herald.
Hopes of Watson, who has not played in five weeks, making a comeback revived after he attended the three-day batting camp at the MCG ahead of the first Test.
Watson, who spoke at a CA corporate lunch at the MCG on Monday, said he was extremely disappointed at missing out on the Boxing Day Test.
His recovery from fitness issues - the hamstring he strained in Johannesburg last month, and the calf he subsequently re-injured - has been slower than expected.
"The word from Shane Watson was that he is not fit to play. He has had ongoing troubles with his calf. His situation is improving and we hope he is in content_cnion for the second Test. It is an option for him to bat down the order," national selector John Inverarity had said last week.
Watson suffered the injury on the tour of South Africa last month.
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 has admitted that he needs two weeks of bowling in the nets at a minimum to ready himself for a Test match and there has been 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.