Australia captain Tim Paine showed optimism about Usman Khawaja's recovery and said he expects his top-order batsman to be fit before the first Ashes 2019 Test at Edgbaston in Birmingham, starting from August 1. Usman Khawaja had suffered a hamstring injury during Australia's World Cup match against South Africa, and was then ruled out of the tournament. However, Tim Paine, on Sunday played down all the fears surrounding Usman Khawaja's injury and said he expects him to be available for selection ahead of first Test.
"I don't think he's in serious doubt (of missing the first Ashes Test)," Paine was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au.
"He's in a rehab stage so the decision has been made that he won't play at this stage. There is a possibility, maybe, if something were to happen to someone else he might be right for the back end of the game.
"But we expect him to be fully fit and available for selection for the first Test," he added.
According to Cricket Australia, ahead of Australia's four-day intra-squad match, Khawaja had trained lightly with his side, batting in the nets and undergoing a series of sprints and leg work on Sunday under the instruction of the medical support staff.
Khawaja had started his World Cup 2019 campaign on a positive note, scoring 88 runs against New Zealand. He, however, managed to score only 18 runs against South Africa.
The Ashes 2019 will be played from August 1 to September 16.