James Pattinson
James Pattinson (AFP Photo)

James Pattinson might have just returned after recovering from yet another fitness issue but that shouldn’t stop Australia from taking him to England for the Ashes later this year, says Ryan Harris.

Pattinson, after a major back surgery, played in four Sheffield Shield games for Victoria last year and then a side strain ruled him out of the Big Bash League where he was representing Brisbane Heat.

Since then, he has made a resounding comeback to the playing field, picking up a five-wicket haul against New South Wales which has again put him back in contention for an Ashes berth. (READ: Nottinghamshire confirm return of Pattinson)

Harris, a former Australia fast bowler whose career also suffered due to injuries, feels Pattinson has done enough for a recall.

“If he is bowling well, which he is, and if he is fit you got to play him. I don’t think it’s a risk, he has bowled well enough and he has bowled enough to put himself up for selection,” Harris told foxsports.com.au. “If he is fit and firing then there is no risk taking him or playing him in the Ashes Tests. Anyone can break down during a Test – You just got to prepare him with the right derivate. If he is in the mix for the Australian A tour then he must be taken to Ashes.”

Since making his in 2011, Pattinson has managed just 17 Tests in a career plagued by injuries with the last of those in February 2016.

The 28-year-old has also signed up with Nottinghamshire to play seven County Championship matches and the entirety of Royal London Cup for them this season. However, his county plans could be altered if he does get selected for Australia’s preparatory tour of England ahead of the Ashes in July.

Harris, who is in India in the capacity of IPL franchise Kings XI Punjab’s bowling coach, has advised his countrymate to not let miss any chance of playing cricket. “Play as much cricket as you can while he can. Within games, he is going so well, he will want to keep playing. He will probably have a scan at the end of the season to see where his back is at. If that comes back all clear, then I’m sure he will have some directive from the state association or the selectors just to say, ‘right, you are in the mix.’”

He added, “There is always the option of going and playing country cricket. Then there is that A tour before the Ashes. From his current form, he will definitely be in the reckoning for the Ashes squad.”