Melbourne:Australia captain Ricky Ponting is a doubtful starter for the Boxing Day Test against Pakistan after an MRI scan confirmed a tendon injury just above his left elbow.
Ponting was struck by a Kemar Roach delivery in Australia's first innings on day one of the third Test against West Indies at the WACA ground but batted on for 40 more minutes before retiring for the first time in his career.
Although he fielded throughout the West Indies' first innings, the Australian team management is in no mood to risk him and made it clear that the skipper will not bat in the second innings unless required, thereby casting a shadow over his participation in the Boxing Day Test at the MCG.
"Following an x-ray on Wednesday that cleared Ricky of any bone damage, he had an MRI scan yesterday evening that confirmed an elbow tendon injury just above his left elbow joint," Australia physiotherapist Alex Kountouris said in a statement.
"The scan showed disruption of some tendon fibres in this area which is resulting in significant pain and loss of function when attempting to bat.
"At this stage, Ricky will not be batting in the second innings unless required to prevent any further damage and maximise the restoration of function," Kountouris added.
Ponting has not missed a Test since the last five years when he was ruled out from the first three Tests of Australia's tour to India in October 2004 due to injury.