David Warner is still on course to be fit for the Ashes. Photo: Andrew Boyers/Reuters

Australia suffered an injury scare just three days from the Ashes when David Warner suffered a nasty blow on the left leg yesterday and had to leave net practice at Edgbaston.

Warner, returning to the Australian fold after his leading role in the Sandpaper-gate scandal, suffered what was described as a ‘bad bruise’ to his inner thigh after being hit by fast bowler Michael Neser and immediately left for treatment.

Australia are said to be relaxed about the condition of one of the most important, if controversial, members of their side and expect him to be fully fit on Thursday to face not just England but what is expected to be a hostile reception from the Edgbaston crowd.

Meanwhile, England have been warned Australia will continue to play their cricket tough by Steve Waugh, the master of sledging and ‘mental disintegration’.

The great former captain is with this year’s tourists as a mentor and does not think the infamous Aussie way will be compromised by the cheating scandal that shone an unpleasant spotlight on their cricketing culture.

‘This side is going to be combative because that’s the Australian way,’ said Waugh yesterday at Edgbaston. ‘They know they can’t cross the line because obviously what happened 18 months ago has had a huge impact on them.

‘These guys have played in a fantastic spirit since then but we have to play with conviction and courage because we are brought up to play in a positive, aggressive manner and I don’t see that being any different in this series.

‘There aren’t going to be any shrinking violets out there even though perhaps there’s not as much mental disintegration as there used to be.

‘Maybe these days players are disarmed a bit because they all know each other so well from the IPL and other leagues.

‘You can’t really have that power any more because they all engage a lot more.’

Daily Mail