Marsh facing lengthy injury spell: report

Allrounder's Ashes dreams could be in tatters according to a newspaper report

Australia allrounder Mitchell Marsh could be sidelined for as long as nine months, according to a report in the West Australian.

Marsh, who returned home from India last week when it became clear that the shoulder injury he was managing would prevent him from playing at full capacity for the remainder of the series, could now face the prospect of a shoulder reconstruction that would keep him out of the game for the remainder of 2017, the report said.

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"Mitchell has been playing with a shoulder injury for most of the summer, which we have been managing up until now, but unfortunately it has progressively deteriorated to a point where he is unable to function at the level required," team physiotherapist David Beakley said last week.

"Consequently he will return to Australia to consult with specialists to advise the best course of action."

The West Australian reported that Marsh had already had an initial diagnosis, which resulted in the nine-month prognosis, while Cricket Australia has said the allrounder will this week visit a specialist.

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Marsh was named in Australia’s Test squad for India despite having been ruled out of January's VB ODI Series against Pakistan after injuring the same shoulder.

The 25-year-old missed the preceding ODI tour to New Zealand, but recovered in time to play in Australia's sole warm-up match in Mumbai before returning to the starting XI for the first Test in Pune.

"It was fine when he got here but it's gotten worse," said national coach Darren Lehmann. "I was confident (Marsh was fit), I thought he played really well in the second innings in Pune where he got 31."

A nine-month lay-off would see the Western Australian miss at least the first three Tests of the of next summer's Ashes, opening the door for either his replacement in the squad in India, Marcus Stoinis, or likely another seam-bowling allrounder such as Moises Henriques or Hilton Cartwright.

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Stoinis took three wickets in the ODI series opener against New Zealand in January and has impressed fellow Test squad member and state teammate Matthew Wade with ball in hand.

"The last couple of years we’ve seen improvements from his bowling," Wade said from India yesterday.

"Australia A (in 2015) he bowled really, really well, took the pace off.

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"He knocked off a couple of their big players in that series so I think the last couple of years that's probably what the selectors have seen a bit more in him.

"They always knew he was a really strong batter, but his bowling has improved out of sight the last few years."

Marsh scored 48 runs in four innings in two Tests in India, bringing the No.6's batting average down to 21.74 from 21 Tests. 

Test Squads

India (for third and fourth Tests): Virat Kohli (c), Murali Vijay, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Wriddhiman Saha, Ravichandaran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Ishant Sharma, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav, Karun Nair, Jayant Yadav, Kuldeep Yadav, Abhinav Mukund.

Australia: Steve Smith (c), David Warner (vc), Ashton Agar, Jackson Bird, Pat Cummins, Peter Handscomb, Josh Hazlewood, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Stephen O'Keefe, Matthew Renshaw, Marcus Stoinis, Mitchell Swepson, Matthew Wade

Australia's schedule in India

Feb 23-27, First Test, Pune - Australia won by 333 runs.

Mar 4-8, Second Test, Bengaluru - India won by 75 runs.

Mar 16-20, Third Test, Ranchi

Mar 25-29, Fourth Test, Dharamsala