Australia are set to rotate their fast bowlers for the second and third Tests against South Africa, while Shane Watson's comeback will depend on how he pulls up after bowling in the nets at Adelaide Oval on Monday.
Watson was included yesterday in a 13-man squad for the second Test, but his chances of playing remain remote unless he can convince the selectors that his fitness would allow him to bat and field without hindrance.
Offering a bowling option would be a bonus but is not essential.
While team performance manager Pat Howard said this week that Watson's selection chances depended on him being able to bowl his medium-pacers, selection chairman John Inverarity was less dogmatic yesterday.
He indicated that Watson could play solely as a batsman - a role the all-rounder has filled in just two of his 35 matches - but that would more likely be a consequence of his bowling workload not being sufficient for a five-day game.
Asked if Watson could play solely as a batsman, Inverarity said: "Yes, he could. He'll have to be fit to perform regarding running between the wickets, chasing in the field, diving, to come under consideration.
"(But) it is unlikely he would be able to get his bowling workload up in time in order to be able to bowl in the Test.
"He could surprise us by bowling on Monday and Wednesday and then it could be that he would bowl a few overs in the Test, if he is selected.
"There are six days to go before the Test starts and we will make a decision on Tuesday or Wednesday at the latest."
A calf strain prevented Watson being considered for the first Test at the Gabba.
He has batted just 15 times in the past 15 months, scoring 375 runs at 25 with only three half centuries.
He moved to No.3 against the West Indies in April and would replace Gabba debutant Rob Quiney in that position if fit to play in Adelaide.
Mitchell Starc is set to replace right-armer Ben Hilfenhaus and Inverarity virtually guaranteed further pace personnel changes because of the brief gap between the final two Tests.
Hilfenhaus was the least impressive of the Australian pacemen at the Gabba and appeared to pay the price for his involvement in the World Twenty20 and Champions League with an action that has deteriorated since last summer.
"I think it is very difficult to go Brisbane, Adelaide and then a break of just a couple of days and then to Perth, for the same bowlers to do all of that," Inverarity said.
"It is not unlikely that a different bowler will come in for that Test.
"You would recall that last time in Perth we played four fast bowlers, and we'll just have to wait and see what the wicket is like.
"The decision last year, I think, was the right decision and we'll have to wait and see what happens this year."
The door remains ajar for Mitchell Johnson, who was praised by Inverarity for his recent work to regain his form.
"He is in a very good place, Mitch," Inverarity said. "The panel and I are very pleased with Mitchell's development.
"He is far more consistent than he was 12 months ago and going back before that."
- SQUAD *
Michael Clarke (capt), Shane Watson (vice-capt), Ed Cowan, Ben Hilfenhaus, Mike Hussey, Nathan Lyon, James Pattinson, Ricky Ponting, Rob Quiney, Peter Siddle, Mitchell Starc, Matthew Wade and David Warner.