Australia captain Michael Clarke will miss the first part of the upcoming tour of West Indies because of a hamstring injury, Cricket Australia said on Thursday.
The 30-year-old, who has enjoyed a rich vein of batting form since he took over the captaincy, hopes to be fit to play in the three-test series in the Caribbean. All rounder Shane Watson will replace him as captain.
"Michael's scan yesterday has confirmed a left hamstring strain and he will not travel with the team to the West Indies," said team physio Alex Kountouris.
"He will take part in an intensive rehabilitation programme in Sydney and we expect that he will recover in time to take part in the test portion of the West Indies tour."
There was better news about young quick bowler James Pattinson, who has a strained buttock muscle but will travel with the squad and undergo treatment in the West Indies.
The touring party departs for the Caribbean on Friday and play five one day internationals between March 16 and 25 as well as Twenty20 internationals on March 27 and 30.
Test matches in Bridgetown, Port of Spain and Guyana follow in April.