A NERVOUS Ryan Harris had his wife by his side for a calming influence as he flew to Sydney for medical scans which delivered a promising Ashes prognosis on his injured achilles tendon.
The Australian fast bowler was as anxious as a schoolboy on a first date, knowing that his Ashes dreams and his international career were probably over if scans revealed even a small tear in his left achilles.
But wife Cherie, his long-term sweetheart who he married last year, calmed him down and the couple were relieved to hear probably the best possible news late yesterday.
Scans revealed no tear and Harris will undergo intensive rehabilitation in Brisbane and should be fit for the start of the Ashes in less than 11 weeks.
The 33-year-old Queenslander may even be fit for some of the Australia A series before the Ashes, although medical staff will probably err on the side of caution given his extensive injury history.The Courier-Mail broke the news Harris had flown home from the Indian Premier League with the injury and his prognosis was unknown until the good news from yesterday's scans.
"I was so nervous," Harris said. "I flew down to Sydney with my wife to re-assure me...it was a good move because she was always saying the right thing at the right time.
"I had done hours of research on the internet about tendon injuries and what all the scenarios could be.
"My worst fear was if there was a tear, that would have meant I was basically gone (for the Ashes)."
CA's Chief Medical Officer Justin Paoloni said in a statement: "Ryan Harris has returned from IPL duties with Kings XI Punjab with a left achilles tendon injury.
"Scans showed the injury was not serious and he will undergo intensive rehabilitation with the aim of him being available to take part in the Australia A Series and we expect he will be fit to play in the Ashes."
Harris said he had felt some soreness in his achilles for the past 18 months, but it flared up after he played the first three games of the IPL.
Even though he was anxious about his Ashes prospects, he tried to re-assure himself by doing various exercises that he hoped were showing the injury was not serious.
"I could still walk around as normal and up and down stairs and things ... so I probably thought deep down that I would be OK," Harris said.
"As far as my rehab goes, I've just got to do all the right things and load the tendon with a lot of specific exercises.
"The doctor was pretty happy and it was really the best prognosis I could have possibly hoped for."