31 Dec 2008

Watson out of action for Australian cricket

6:43 am on 31 December 2008

The Australian cricketers plans for the third Test at the SCG have been thrown into further disarray with Shane Watson unable to bowl for up to six months because of a back injury.

Already having endured a historic series defeat against South Africa and with a host of players either out of form or injured, Australia would have been banking on calling on an in-form Watson in Sydney.

But the Queenslander has dashed the hopes of selectors with yet another injury setback in his stop-start career.

The injury will keep him out of next year's tour of South Africa and potentially the Ashes series following it.

Watson had been primed to take the spot of injured all-rounder Andrew Symonds following a recent spate of good form.

He earned player of the series in leading the Rajasthan Royals to inaugural Indian Premier League glory, and was then described by captain Ricky Ponting as "Australia's best bowler" on the tour of India.

Watson says the injury will require between four and six weeks of rest before he could think about making a return as a batsman first up.