London: In a blow to Australia's Champions Trophy campaign, skipper Michael Clarke was on Friday ruled out of their opening match against England tomorrow as he is yet to recover from a recurring back problem.
Clarke had also missed out on the two warm up games due to the lower back issue. He had rushed to London to see a specialist and will remain there for a few days for rehabilitation.
His availability for the remainder of the tournament would depend on his recovery. George Bailey, who led the side in the warm up games, is expected to captain the team when they begin their title defence tomorrow.
"Michael is making steady progress in his recovery from the recent lower back injury but is yet to return to training. He will remain in London over the coming days to continue his rehabilitation and will not be available for the first match against England on Saturday," Cricket Australia Physiotherapist Alex Kountouris said in a statement.
"How he responds to the ongoing treatment will determine his availability for the match against New Zealand next Wednesday," the statement added.