x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Lee ruled out of first Ashes Test

The Australian fast bowler will miss Wednesday's first Ashes Test in Cardiff because of a rib injury.

LONDON // The Australian fast bowler Brett Lee will miss the first Ashes Test against England starting in Cardiff on Wednesday because of a rib injury. Lee, one of Australia's key bowlers in the 2005 series, suffered soreness in his ribs following the drawn warm-up game against the England Lions. The 32-year-old underwent a scan today to identify the source of the pain, but the results rule him out of the Test at Sophia Gardens. Australia physio Alex Kountouris said at a news conference there was still a chance of Lee being fit enough for the second Test at Lord's. "The scan revealed he has a small strain in one of his abdominal muscles - the internal oblique muscle," he said. "It is not as bad as it could have been, so we are going to monitor it over the next couple of weeks." The pace-bowler was also disappointed that he is ruled out of Australia's Ashes defence, but remains hopeful that he will be involved in the latter stages of the series.

Lee was not guaranteed a place for Wednesday's start, having been out of Test action since December, but he improved his chances by taking six first-innings wickets against the England Lions at Worcester. "This is only a small obstacle put in front of me," Lee said. "If it was my ankle and something of a structural thing I would be a lot more concerned."