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Brett Lee to have ankle surgery

Sydney: Australia fast bowler Brett Lee is to undergo surgery on his left ankle, Cricket Australia (CA) announced in a statement.

The paceman has been troubled by the ankle for a while but decided to have an operation after he was forced out of the forthcoming tour of India with a strained stomach muscle.

Team physiotherapist Errol Alcott said: “With the injury to his stomach muscle, we were presented with a window of opportunity to also correct this problem while Brett takes a break from competition.

“Brett will be reviewed again towards the end of November following an intensive rehabilitation programme.”

World champions Australia and New Zealand take part in a tri-series in India which started on Thursday.

Lee felt pain in the back of his ankle during this month’s two-Test series against Zimbabwe but Alcott said the injury should heal quickly after surgery.

Glenn McGrath, Jason Gillespie and Stuart MacGill all have pulled out of the tour of India with injury.

Meanwhile in New Delhi, Australia’s one-day captain Ricky Ponting said on Thursday his injury-hit side will start the tri-series against New Zealand and hosts India as underdogs, but warned against being taken lightly.

“It’s going to be difficult for us to win here, we know that,” Ponting said on arrival in India along with the rest of the 14-man squad. “But there’s a challenge for everybody in the team to really show what we are made of...”

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