| WARNE: Shoulder operated upon
Melbourne: Shane Warne is expected to recover in time for the World Cup after surgeons operated on his dislocated shoulder on Monday.
The Australian team’s doctor, Trefor James, told a news conference that Warne’s injury was not as bad as first feared and he was only expected to be out of action for four to six weeks.
The Australian leg-spinner will miss the final two Ashes Tests and the rest of the triangular one-day series with England and Sri Lanka, but is expected to be fit for the World Cup starting on February 9.
“We expect him to bowl without any dramas and in the short term, we expect him to be out for four to six weeks,” James said. “I don’t think I could be definite (but) we are hopeful he will be available and we will just have to wait until we’ll be in a better position to see.
“The findings of the surgery represent a best-case scenario for Shane’s recovery from this injury,” he said. “I am optimistic Shane could be available for the tournament (World Cup) but we will have a better idea as his rehabilitation progresses.”
Warne said he was relieved by the news: “I’m happy with the scenario and I’ll do whatever it takes to get back on deck as soon as possible,” he said.
He underwent surgery on Monday morning within hours of dislocating his bowling shoulder in a freak fielding accident against England the previous night.
The injury was complicated by the fact that he has a history of shoulder problems, but James said the dislocation was not connected to his previous injuries.
Adam Gilchrist has been ruled out of Australia’s next one-day International because of a groin strain.
The Australian vice-captain injured himself while batting on Sunday and has been told to miss the next match against Sri Lanka in Perth on December 22.
“I felt some tightness in my groin while I was batting on Sunday, but was obviously able to carry on batting without a runner and then keep wickets,” Gilchrist said in a statement on Monday.
“Looking at things from a positive perspective, this break will be an opportunity to rest in the middle of our busy schedule.”
Gilchrist is expected to be fit for the fourth Ashes Test against England starting on Boxing Day. Australia A wicketkeeper Ryan Campbell is expected to replace Gilchrist for the match against Sri Lanka when the side is announced on Wednesday.
MacGill set to be back
Stuart MacGill is expected to become the main beneficiary of Warne’s shoulder injury and return to the Test arena after starring for Australia a year ago.
The national selectors will choose a replacement for Warne on Thursday for the remaining two Tests as Steve Waugh’s men attempt to sweep the beleaguered tourists 5-0.
MacGill’s Test career has been brilliant with 82 wickets in 17 Tests at an average of 25. Against England he’s taken 27 wickets from four Tests at an average of 17.