Australia will decide on Glenn McGrath's participation in the deciding Ashes Test at The Oval after examining his reaction to a strenuous fitness test in the nets this morning.
The veteran seamer has been a doubt since injuring his right elbow during a tour match at Northampton, which ruled him out of the fourth Test at Trent Bridge and last weekend's match against Essex.
McGrath has always been confident of being declared fit but Australia's management were less positive and called New South Wales paceman Stuart Clark into their squad as cover on Monday.
But McGrath's hopes of playing lifted yesterday morning after he had two strenuous bowling sessions in the nets, gradually building up until he was bowling at nearly full pace by the end of the practice.
Errol Alcott, Australia's physiotherapist, said: "Glenn was able to complete what was asked of him at today's practice session, which included two solid bowling spells.
"I'm very pleased with him at this stage but as part of his overall management we will wait until tomorrow before making a final decision on his availability for the Test match."
Should McGrath suffer a reaction and be withdrawn from Australia's selection plans, the final place will be between Michael Kasprowicz and the uncapped Clark as they attempt to seek the win which would level the series and see them retain the Ashes.