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McGrath to miss start

Melbourne: Glenn McGrath does require further surgery on his left ankle and will miss at least the start of the India Test series in December, Cricket Australia (CA) confirmed on Monday.

A day earlier, the 33-year-old withdrew from Australia’s two-Test series against Zimbabwe which starts on Thursday in Perth. McGrath, Test cricket’s sixth-leading bowler with 430 wickets from 95 matches, had a spur removed from the back of his left ankle in August after carrying the injury for several years.

On Sunday, CA ruled McGrath out of the November tour of India for a limited overs series. The lanky fast bowler said in Perth he was hopeful of taking part in the four-Test home series against India — which starts in Brisbane on December 4 — at some point of time.

Orthopaedic surgeon Martin Sullivan examined McGrath’s left ankle in Sydney on Monday and advised of the need for surgery on Tuesday to correct cartilage and spur damage at the front of the ankle.

“It is clear that the surgery Glenn underwent in August is fine. However, this is a new problem and one that will need to be rectified by surgery,” Sullivan said in a CA statement.

“The cartilage damage has existed for several years ... but it has clearly been aggravated. I will review him in mid-December, however, I expect him to make a full recovery.”

McGrath, who has led Australia’s attack for a decade with leg-spinner Shane Warne, had hoped to play his 100th match in the third Test against India in Melbourne from December 26-30.

Warne, 34, is the game’s second-leading wicket-taker with 491 wickets in 107 matches but is serving a 12-month doping ban which expires in February next year. McGrath told reporters on Sunday he was “very motivated” to get back, while Warne has also spoken of his desire to continue training privately during his ban to return fit and fresh next year.

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