Sydney: Australian captain Michael Clarke said on Wednesday he was confident his troublesome back would not prevent him from leading Australia in the two Ashes series against England this year.
Clarke has managed the back problem since he was first diagnosed with a degenerative condition aged 17, but it forced him out of the fourth Test against India in March when the tourists went down 4-0.
The 32-year-old, who struggled with a hamstring injury through the Australian summer, underlined the importance of his preparations with the Champions Trophy looming next month. "I'm confident it will be no different to how it has been throughout my career," Clarke told reporters.
"I've managed to play 90-odd Test matches and only missed one through my career, so that's a big part of why preparation is so important for me. I need to make sure I'm fit. I need to make sure I'm not carrying too much weight. I need to make sure I'm putting in the work to be fit in eight months or 12 months' time. I'm really confident that with the work I've been doing, that I will be."
Clarke had been due to take up the captaincy of Pune Warriors India for the lucrative Indian Premier League in April-May, but stayed at home for intensive rehabilitation on his back and hamstring.
Australia play five Tests against England, starting at Nottingham's Trent Bridge ground on July 10. The Ashes saga resumes in November in Australia over five Tests.