Melbourne - Cricket World Cup hosts Australia may have only 13 players to choose their playing XI from for their Februaury 14 tournament opener against England after scans revealed all-rounder James Faulkner has suffered a side strain.
Faulkner's injury is a fresh blow to Australia, following a hamstring injury to regular skipper Michael Clarke who is racing against time to be fit after undergoing surgery in December.
Faulkner blasted a 24-ball 50 in Australia's emphatic victory in the final of the tri-series against England but also suffered the injury while bowling in Sunday's match at Perth.
"Scans on James Faulkner's injured side have confirmed a moderate grade abdominal muscle strain which is consistent with a 'typical' fast-bowing side strain injury," Cricket Australia physiotherapist Alex Kountouris said.
"He will receive intensive treatment for the next two weeks before we can determine when he can return to batting and bowling."
The 24-year-old will travel with the Australia squad to Adelaide on Friday to continue his treatment with medical staff.
Clarke, who returned to club cricket on Saturday, has been given until Australia's second World Cup match against Bangladesh on Feb. 21 to prove he is fit to play a part in the tournament.