Symonds cleared for New Zealand tour

Published: Tuesday, February 8, 2005, 23:53 [IST]
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Sydney:All-rounder Andrew Symonds was cleared for possible inclusion in the limited overs section of Australia's cricket tour of New Zealand after overcoming an achilles tendon injury.

Symonds, who was recently named Australian one-day player of the year, was in doubt for the New Zealand tour after the tendon injury forced him out of Sunday's tri-series victory over Pakistan in Sydney.

But diagnostic scans in Brisbane indicated the injury was not serious.

"The scans indicate that the problem is only minor," said team doctor Trefor James. "He is expected to be available for selection, but not before we review him again next week."

It was good news for Australia a day after fellow all-rounder Shane Watson was ruled out of at least the one-day component of the New Zealand tour because of a muscle tear in his side.

Watson suffered the injury during his fourth over in Sunday's series-clinching victory over Pakistan.

Symonds said the news was a "huge weight off my shoulders".

"My form started to improve at the beginning of the finals series in Melbourne, so should I be selected for this tour, I'll just try to pick up from where I left off," he said.

The naming of the Australian limited overs squad for New Zealand has been delayed by a day until Thursday.

The big question mark remains whether out-of-form opening batsman Matthew Hayden will regain his spot on the team after being left out of the tri-series finals.

Australia begins its tour of New Zealand on February 17 with a Twenty/20 match in Auckland. The two sides will then play five one day internationals and three Tests.

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