Hazlewood confident over Ashes fitness despite missing Sheffield Shield opener
Josh Hazlewood is confident he will be fit for Australia's Ashes opener against England despite missing the Sheffield Shield opener as he continues his recovery from a side strain.
The seamer, part of the Aussies' pace attack with Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins, was hurt during the recent tour of Bangladesh and will sit out New South Wales' domestic clash against South Australia - starting October 27.
Hazlewood will consequently be a match behind Starc and Cummins in his preparations for the eagerly awaited series with rivals England, but the 26-year-old says he is approaching full fitness and will be raring to go by the time the first Test starts at The Gabba on November 23.
"You'd much rather play one or two [games], I guess, then freshen up in that third week," Hazlewood said.
"But you can always just bowl a little bit less at training in those days leading into the Test. There's still a decent enough gap there."
On his side strain, he added: "The side is really good. I've been off the full run the last three or four sessions, so getting back to 100 per cent.
"I'm probably about 85-90 per cent. The timing was a bit unfortunate but it's given me a chance to freshen up and get some good work in the gym and on the running track.
"I'm feeling nice and fit. It'll be good to put everything together in club cricket - bowl 10-12 overs; field for a couple of hours."