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March 26 (Reuters) – Australia all-rounder Ellyse Perry could play as a batter only in their Women’s World Cup semi-final next week if she fails to fully recover from a back injury, coach Matthew Mott said on Saturday.

Perry, who is a key player of the Australian team, was off the field for most of their group stage win over South Africa on Tuesday after suffering a back spasm. She also missed Friday’s win over Bangladesh.

Australia finished the group stage on top with an unbeaten record and will play their semi-final on either Wednesday or Thursday, with their opponents yet to be decided.

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“She’ll have to get through a battery of tests, with this return-to-play protocol that she’ll have to meet, she’ll have to meet some certain criteria and be able to perform close to her best,” Mott said.

“It wouldn’t be ideal, but she would definitely be considered as a batter alone. It does throw up different selection conundrums.

“… But all things considered, it’s looking quite positive she’d had a really good break, we’ve been quite conservative in her management, so we’re confident with the extra couple of days that gives her time to be ready.”

Australia have won the 50-over Women’s World Cup a record six times.

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Reporting by Manasi Pathak in Bengaluru; Editing by Lincoln Feast.

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.