Melbourne:Australia captain Ricky Ponting has blamed disorganised Test scheduling starting with the series against India for the team's injury woes.
"We always knew this season was going to be tough physically on us because of the programming from the start of the Indian tour in late September," Ponting said.
Australia's woeful season has been worsened by the long injury-list with as many as 14 players unavailable at different stages this summer. Long-term layoffs include pace spearhead Brett Lee, who underwent the fourth ankle surgery of his career last month, and Stuart Clark.
"That's as bad a run as I've seen for a long time. There have been lots of different things which have all added up that explain why we've had as many changes as we have," Ponting was quoted as saying by 'The Australian'.
Ponting said playing back-to-back Tests was bound to break down players.
"A lot of the Tests were on top of each other. The three South African Tests were all back to back. Even the two New Zealand Tests earlier in the summer were on top of each other," he said.
"If you're carrying little niggles from game to game there wasn't enough time for them to get over it. If they go straight into another game, those niggles can turn into bigger injuries. That's part of the problem we've had over the past few months," Ponting said.