Clark, Jaques to test fitness this weekend


Melbourne : Stuart Clark and Phil Jaques will be aiming to return to competitive cricket this weekend after recovering from injuries to declare themselves fit for the tour to South Africa.

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Paceman Clark will be appearing for Sydney University while opener Jaques is expected to play for Sutherland.

Clark, who had bone spurs removed from his elbow six weeks ago, has completed two light training sessions this week and is happy with his progress.

“I’m not getting any swelling, which is a good thing – that was the concern, that I’d be getting swelling, but I’m not having any after-training grief,” Clark was quoted as saying in The Age.

“It’s just a matter of going a bit harder each time until I am going as hard as I can go, and seeing what happens.”

“On the weekend I’ll probably bowl 12 to 15 overs and see how that goes. If it gets sore, then I’ll just have to pull out. I think I’ll be right to be selected.”

Both must play this weekend to be considered for the NSW Sheffield Shield side that takes on Tasmania Jan 30, which national selectors will use as an assessment of their fitness and suitability to tour South Africa.

Jaques, who had surgery to a bulging disc in October, is the favourite to replace the retired Matthew Hayden.

The left-hander is racing the clock to get some much-needed match practice under his belt and prove he should be the No. 1 choice to replace Hayden at the top of Australia’s batting order.