Australia captain Michael Clarke has said that he does not believe that his degenerative back condition requires a serious operation, despite the dire predictions made regarding his long-term future in cricket.
Clarke is on track to play in the opening match of the Ashes tour next week against Somerset after missing the ICC Champions Trophy 2013 tournament, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.
Stating that he is aware of speculation suggesting that he may require some sort of spinal fusion in coming years, something that would probably end his career, although Clarke admitted that he cannot rule out such possibility, he, however, said that the recent setbacks with his back will not damage his optimism for the back-to-back Ashes series against England.
“I’ve been asked that (needing an operation) a number of times,” said Clarke to AAP. “In my mind I’m a long way from an operation. But you should never rule out anything.
“With anybody, you can come to training and get injured and need an operation. So I’m not going to sit here and say I’ll never need an operation on my back.”
According to Clarke, he believes that he is still a long way from undergoing an operation, adding that he is confident that he still has a few years left to play and for now, he is positive about his chances for playing in the Ashes.
“I hope I never need an operation on my back. But at the moment I think I’m in great hands and confident once I get out there I’ll be able to continue my career like I have done so far.
“I’m very confident I’ve got a few years left in me yet.”
However, Clarke admitted that he had to develop a glass half-full attitude towards his back that others may not share, adding that there were times in his younger years when he considered giving up the game away due to the pain and the difficulties of getting himself on the paddock.
“I think there would have been a number of times as a young player where it would have been very easy to walk away.
But Clarke refuses to accept his condition is getting worse and has given no thought to scaling back the amount of cricket he plays to improve his longevity, adding that he is enjoying playing Test and one-day cricket and is hoping to continue to do so for a long time.
“At the moment I’m enjoying playing one-day cricket and Test cricket and I want to continue doing that for a lot longer yet,” he said.
Clarke further said that he likes to think that he is in the same position that he had been throughout his career, adding that the best thing for him is to stay nice and positive. Clarke has battled his chronic lower back condition since he was 17 years old, which helped breed a work ethic that coaches and teammates describe as almost unrivalled in cricket, the report added.