Ryan Harris, Australia's Player of the Series in their 0-3 Ashes defeat to England, will be out of action for between six and eight weeks. The right-arm paceman, who took 24 wickets in the four Tests he played, sustained a right hamstring injury during the final Test at The Oval which ended in a draw.
A statement from Cricket Australia on Thursday (August 29) said Harris's injury had been assessed on his return to Australia. "Ryan Harris injured his right hamstring during the latter part of the second innings of the 5th Ashes Test. He had to leave the field and did not return to the game as he was unable to bowl," it said. "He was assessed after arriving back in Australia today and is expected to be unavailable to play for the next 6-8 weeks."
It means Harris, 33 and with a long list of injuries, should still be available to play in the return leg of the Ashes at home from November, provided his recovery goes according to plan. He has a chronic knee injury, and sustained a broken bone in his left ankle not long after his belated international debut at 30 which forced him to miss cricket for more than six months. This latest injury is another setback in a career littered with injuries. He has played just 16 Tests since his debut more than three and a half years ago, taking 71 wickets at an impressive 22.26.
Easily his team's most consistent, dangerous and incisive bowler, Harris will have a key role to play if Australia harbour any hopes of regaining the Ashes on home patch. Whether he will regain physical and match fitness by the time the series starts at the Gabba in Brisbane on November 21, however, remains to be seen.