Australia paceman Brett Lee is recovering from elbow surgery in an attempt to prolong his international career. Lee, 33, underwent an operation on Wednesday to correct a damaged ligament in his right elbow which has seen him break down twice in the space of just three weeks. The complaint initially flared up in the first one-day international of the seven-match series against India in Vadodara on October 25.
Lee could only bowl six overs of a possible 10 in that match and on November 15, he aggravated it again bowling for New South Wales in the Ford Ranger Cup. It compounded a sorry 2009 for Lee who did not feature in the unsuccessful Ashes campaign in England due to a hamstring problem that flared up following his return from kne and foot surgery. Lee demonstrated his worth to Australia by bowling with hostility during their 6-1 thrashing of England in the NatWest Series in September when he was the series' leading wicket-taker with 12. He also produced a match-winning performance for New South Wales in the final of the Twenty20 Champions League in India
But it appears his latest setback means the next realistic opportunity he has of representing his country would be on the tour of New Zealand in late March. "He will be required to use an elbow brace for a period of approximately six weeks and then commence more intensive rehabilitation," Cricket Australia medical officer Dr Trefor James said. "His return to bowling will be determined in due course as he is regularly assessed by the surgeon and Cricket Australia's medical staff."
Lee has taken 310 Test wickets in 76 matches at 30.81 and 324 ODI scalps in 186 appearances. * PA