Cricket-Perry nursing back stress fracture, may only bat at Commonwealth Games

FILE PHOTO: Cricket - Women’s Ashes - Third IT20 - England v Australia - Bristol County Ground, Bristol, Britain - July 31, 2019 Ellyse Perry of Australia in action Action Images via Reuters/Matthew Childs/File Photo

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Australia's star all-rounder Ellyse Perry is recovering from a stress fracture in her lower back and may be restricted to batting at the Commonwealth Games.

Perry has suffered back problems since the Women's World Cup where she missed the last few matches of Australia's run to a seventh title in early-April.

She was included in a 15-woman squad named on Friday for a T20 tri-series against Pakistan and hosts Ireland in the leadup to the July 28-Aug. 8 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham - but may not be ready to bowl in either tournament.

"Ellyse is ... expected to play as a batter," team physiotherapist Kate Beerworth said in a news release.

"Her availability to bowl will be dependent on her progress in the coming weeks and on the medical advice."

With long-serving coach Matthew Mott having taken a role with the England men's white-ball programme, Mott's former assistant Shelley Nitschke will guide Australia as interim head coach.

Australia will be without spin bowler Georgia Wareham and fast bowler Tayla Vlaeminck, both nursing long-term injuries, but Meg Lanning's side are likely to be heavy favourites to win the first women's T20 tournament at the Commonwealth Games.

Australia are the reigning T20 world champions, having won the last global women's tournament on home soil in 2020.

Australia squad for Ireland tri-series and Commonwealth Games:

Meg Lanning (capt), Rachael Haynes, Darcie Brown, Nicola Carey, Ashleigh Gardner, Grace Harris, Alyssa Healy, Jess Jonassen, Alana King, Tahlia McGrath, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Annabel Sutherland, Amanda-Jade Wellington

(Reporting by Ian Ransom; Editing by Himani Sarkar)

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