Sydney, Dec 30: Australian captain Ricky Ponting has said that he is devastated after being ruled out of the fifth Test of the Ashes series against England because of further damage to his broken little finger.
Ponting has been ruled out after x-rays on his broken finger showed that the fracture had moved during this week's fourth Test loss at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
Team physiotherapist Alex Kountouris said that meant the 36-year-old needed to commence treatment immediately to achieve a satisfactory outcome, with surgery among the options to be considered.
"I'm devastated to tell you the truth, it was the news I was dreading," the Herald Sun quoted Ponting, as saying. "During the game I didn't think I'd done too much more to it."
Ponting had fractured the little finger in his left hand while attempting to claim an edge at slip off Jonathan Trott on day three of the third-Test at Perth's WACA Ground.
He is expected to be fit for the 50-over World Cup in the Indian subcontinent starting February.
Vice-captain Michael Clarke will lead Australia during Ponting's absence, while New South Wales (NSW) batsman Usman Khawaja is expected to make his Test debut as his replacement.
Australia currently trails the five-match series 2-1, with the final Test to be played in Sydney from January 2.