Michael Clarke is all set to put in another major marker leading up to his Australia comeback before/on deadline day, by playing a part in his team's final World Cup warm-up game against the UAE on Wednesday.
Clarke has been given a deadline of 21 February – the day Australia play their second World Cup match -- to prove his fitness, and having played a couple of games already – one in Sydney club cricket and one against a Bangladesh XI – the captain is all ready to step it up just that extra notch by featuring in the practice match at the MCG.
"Michael, if he gets through training tomorrow, hopefully he'll play the trial game on Wednesday," Australia coach Darren Lehmann told Fox Sports.
"So that's a pleasing thing for us. He's trained the house down ... now it's a case of getting up to speed with the fielding and away he goes from there."
The lead up to the World Cup has been headlined by injuries to some big players across the board, and Australia will hope their skipper recovers in time from his hamstring injury to lead from the front as the Aussies look for a WC title on home ground.
While Clarke's return will be welcome, the player that Australia will want most to come back as quickly as possible will be James Faulkner, who will definitely miss the first World Cup match -- and maybe a couple more after that as well -- with a side strain.
Lehmann did not seem to worried about Faulkner's recovery, though, even if it is quite important that the all-rounder – arguably Australia's best finisher with the ball and bat – recovers fully enough to take part in the business end of the tournament.
"He'll have a bat tomorrow in the nets," Lehmann added when asked about Faulkner. "So he's going okay. He won't play the first game."
With Faulkner definitely out and Clarke also unlikely to be risked for the opening match of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 against England in Melbourne, Australia will be short on resources, but with the kind of team that they have at the moment and the form that most of them are in, Lehmann is rightly not too concerned.
"Everyone has them [injuries], you just have to cope with it and deal with it," said Lehmann. "We have some good depth. We have good players who have missed out, so that's a good sign.
"If we have some injuries and we have to replace them, so be it. But at the moment they're all ticking along nicely."
The likes of Shaun Marsh, Cameron White and Moises Henriques are waiting in the wings, if the selectors decide it is time to name a replacement, especially if the injury numbers continue to mount.