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Michael Clarke 'happy and comfortable' with connections

Michael Clarke denied his relationship with Cricket Australia officials and team-mates had deteriorated.

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Test captain Michael Clarke insists he is comfortable with his relationship with Cricket Australia staff and his international team-mates despite a report suggesting otherwise.

Clarke made his return from a hamstring injury on Saturday, scoring 51 for grade side Western Suburbs.

He is fighting to be fit for the Cricket World Cup, with a deadline of February 21 set for him to retain his place in Australia's squad.

A report in the Sydney Morning Herald on Australia Day said Clarke's relationship with CA officials was broken and deteriorating with team-mates.

Speaking on Saturday, Clarke said he had no problems with either of those relationships.

"I'm not going to get into it," he told reporters.

"It seems like some people in particular are going to write what they want to write so I'm really happy and comfortable with my relationship with Cricket Australia firstly, certainly with my team-mates.

"It's water off a duck's back for me. I've copped it my whole career. It's another day, it's another newspaper sold."

Clarke believes he is "certainly ahead" of where his surgeon and Australia's medical staff expected him to be, six-and-a-half weeks after surgery.

The 33-year-old denied he felt isolated during rehabilitation, but rather had become desperate to get fit.

"It certainly hasn't been [difficult or isolated] for me. It seems like it might have been for a few other people, and I'm not talking about my team-mates or the Cricket Australia staff," Clarke said.

"I've enjoyed watching the boys have success. Obviously, like any injured player, you want to get on the park and play for your country."

Clarke added: "I think being away from the team just makes you hungrier, makes you want to get back out there and play, hence why I'm here at Chatswood Oval trying to play for my club."

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