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Symonds doubtful for Melbourne Test

December 24, 2008 18:05 IST

Under pressure Australia may miss the services of controversial all-rounder Andrew Symonds due to a knee injury in the second Test against South Africa starting from Friday at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

Symonds, also a useful slow bowler, sustained injury during the first Test and he bowled just two overs in South Africa's first innings in Perth.

He has consulted a knee specialist in Melbourne and is undergoing treatment from team physiotherapist Alex Kountouris.

The Queenslander will have to pass a fitness Test before he is declared fit for the second Test. 

Captain Ricky Ponting was unsure whether Symonds would be fit enough to play at the MCG. 

"It's really a day-to-day thing with him at the moment. He went into the game (first Test) OK and bowled in the first innings but couldn't really bowl after his second over," Ponting was quoted as saying by The Australian.

"He got better on days three and four and limped about on day five. It's one of those things that comes and goes a little bit.

"He'll be asked to do a little bit more tomorrow to see how he is. We'll just have to see how he is on the morning of the game. We'll just have to keep a pretty close eye on him."

Already 0-1 down in the three-match series, Australia face the prospect of making three changes for the second Test if Symonds fails to prove his fitness.

All-rounder Shane Watson will play if Symonds' condition does not improve, while fast bowler Ben Hilfenhaus is putting pressure on Peter Siddle and off-spinner Jason Krejza has already been dropped to make way for Nathan Hauritz. 

Watson's inclusion for Symonds may strengthen Australia's bowling but it could severely deplete the batting.

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