<div class="img-caption-wrap "> <img alt="Michael Clarke" src="https://st2.cricketcountry.com/wp-content/uploads/cricket/image_20121127123734.jpg" title="Michael Clarke" /> <p class="imgcaptionnew" style="width:618px;"> Michael Clarke has been battling a degenerative disc condition since he was 17 and will be assessed by medicos to ensure he is at peak fitness for the Champions Trophy in June before the Ashes showdown in England © Getty Images</p> </div> <strong>New Delhi: Mar 22, 2013</strong><br /> <br /> Ruled out of the final Test at Delhi due to a back injury, Australian captain <a href="/tags/Michael-Clarke/post" target="_blank">Michael Clarke</a> will be flying back home on Friday night to receive treatment.<br /> <br /> Clarke watched the first day's play of the final Test from the Australian dressing room but will not be around on Saturdayas he has been advised a series of tests on his back and a hamstring complaint that affected him during the summer.<br /> <br /> Clarke has been battling a degenerative disc condition since he was 17 and will be assessed by medicos to ensure he is at peak fitness for the Champions Trophy in June before the Ashes showdown in England.<br /> <br /> "Whilst there has been some slow improvement, he is still well short of full function so was unable to train and [was not] available to play the fourth Test," CA physiotherapist <a href="/tags/Alex-Kountouris/post" target="_blank">Alex Kountouris</a> said.<br /> <br /> "The plan is for Michael to return to Sydney as soon as possible to have a series of scans and we will monitor his progress over the coming days before deciding on the best course of action," Kountouris was quoted as saying by the Australian media.<br /> <br /> "We will be taking the opportunity to investigate and manage his ongoing hamstring injury that has been intermittently troubling him since the Australian summer. A decision on his return to cricket will be made once we have evaluated the scans and considered the possible management options."<br /> <br /> Clarke's unavailability due to the injury led to all-rounder Shane Watson captaining the Australian side in the final Test.<br /> <br /> Clarke had received intensive treatment from team physiotherapist Alex Kountouris since the recurrence of the bout of pain but failed to recover in time to take the field.<br /> <br /> It is the first time that Clarke has been forced to miss a Test since he made his debut in 2004.<br /> <br /> "I'm very grateful for the people around, especially Alex Kountouris and my physio when I'm back in Sydney to keep me on the park consistently.<br /> <br /> "I don't know if it's as bad as it's been. It's not a nice feeling, it was very uncomfortable and it affected my performance [in Mohali], in regards not to the number of runs I made but the movement," explained the skipper.<br /> <br /> "I felt I couldn't move down the wicket because I was so restricted and I'd hate to see what the fielding side of it looked like. For me as a batsman if I can't walk out there and make a hundred because this is going to restrict me doing that, then I don't think it's fair on the team to take the field," he said.