Thatscricket - News - Recuperating Lee to miss Zimbabwe tour

Published: Friday, March 26, 2004, 19:49 [IST]
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Sydney:Fast bowler Brett Lee said he would definitely not be available for Australia's cricket tour to Zimbabwe in May after ankle surgery this week.

Lee had an operation in Sydney on Tuesday to remove bone growths on his left ankle after withdrawing from Australia's tour of Sri Lanka.

A chunk of bone said to be the size of a cashew nut was removed while the surgeon also found that one of the world's fastest bowlers had played the season with a fractured ankle.

"I was in a fair bit of pain but you are playing for your country and each chance you get it's always like you are having a birthday - you always try and give your best," Lee said on Friday.

"But it got to the extent during that last series (Sri Lanka) playing in the trial match where I was in too much pain - you bowl to a time where you've got tears in your eyes it hurts that much."

While admitting the surgery went better than he had expected Lee, 27, said in a month he would have a much better indication of when he can take the field again.

"I will have to wait and see as far as the comeback time - I'll give it a month and reassess after that," said Lee. "But the Zimbabwe tour's definitely out."

Lee previously had ankle surgery last year for bone spurs and has attributed the latest setback to playing too much cricket too soon after that operation. This time the taker of 139 Test wickets at an average of 31.66 vows he won't make the same mistake twice.

"I just want to make sure I give myself enough time to get back and get this ankle right," said Lee, "I have to make sure I get plenty of rest." "I've got plenty of time left yet (in my career), if I can get this alright this will be a minor setback.

"I've had back problems I've got through, I've had an elbow problem which I was told I would never be able to bowl again so it's just a minor setback." "I can't see any reason why I can't go back and bowl as fast as what I did."

Lee's road to recovery may be delayed

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