Michael Clarke has just about confirmed that Ryan Harris will miss next week’s first Ashes Test after being sent for more scans on his troublesome knee.
Harris was a late withdrawal from Australia’s four-day clash with Essex, which ends on Saturday.
The 35-year-old’s right knee was still sore from bowling 30 overs in his comeback match against Kent the week prior.
Harris was sent for scans on Wednesday, then returned to London for more scans on Friday.
Regardless of those results, Harris won’t be playing when the Ashes starts in Cardiff on Wednesday.
“We’ll find out more tomorrow about where he sits,” Clarke said.
“Without him playing this tour game, I don’t think he’s got enough match practice under his belt to probably warrant playing that first Test now.
“He’d probably say that too.”
The fact Harris required follow-up scans for team medical staff to make a full diagnosis may not bode well for the lion-hearted paceman, whose resilience is legendary.
Clarke was upbeat the Queensland quick would be back in the XI at some point during the five-Test series against England.
“I’d love to see him get right and play a part. What Test match, who knows,” he said.
“He’s been an unbelievable weapon for me as captain of Australia and I want to see him fit and healthy.
“I’ve said a number of times how much I love having him in the team.”
Harris’ slow recovery is yet another setback for Australia’s leading wicket-taker in the 2013 Ashes.
Harris underwent major knee surgery last year, but struggled to get back to his best in the Test series against India.
He spent the next six months on a carefully-managed fitness program in an effort to be cherry ripe for the Ashes.
The right-armer was rested from the second half of the Sheffield Shield season.
Harris then skipped the West Indies tour due to the birth of his first child and arrived in London feeling refreshed, stronger and fitter.
“My knee’s going to get sore here and there, that will always be the case, but my body itself feels really good,” he said last week.