Brett Lee insists he hasn’t thought of Test retirement despite a horror run of injuries and will consult a series of medical experts as he attempts to regain fitness following a recurrence of an elbow problem. There is a chance Lee could downgrade his duties to become a limited-overs specialist after his latest setback came when the right arm flared during a one-day game for New South Wales on Sunday.
While the injury in his comeback ruled him out of Tuesday’s Sheffield Shield game against Tasmania, it could have a much greater impact on his international ambitions. Lee has not played a Test since Boxing Day last year, when he hobbled off the field to have foot and ankle surgery.
Since then he has had a side complaint that kept him out of the Ashes and the trio of Mitchell Johnson, Peter Siddle and Ben Hilfenhaus have taken over the attack. Last month he was sent home from the one-day trip to India when his elbow, which was operated on in 2001, started to ache.
Lee, 33, has been desperate to add to his 76 Tests and 310 wickets but that aim becomes less likely with every missed game. His only chance of five-day action this summer relies on a positive assessment of his bone spur issue and an injury to one of the incumbents. Even then the selectors may not want to risk him given his list of breakdowns.
“I still want to play cricket for Australia, definitely,” Lee said on Seven on Tuesday. “The love is definitely still there, I’ve still got that burning ambition and desire to keep actually doing things for Australia.”
He will now seek a range of options to determine what happens next. “Most importantly, I have to find out what’s going on with the elbow,” he said. “I’ll have another specialist take a look, get two or three opinions and take it from there. There’s still a fair bit of swelling in there. I just want to make sure I’m getting the right advice. I got advice down in Melbourne. I want to get a second opinion today and then just actually try and reassess after that.”
Lee’s manager Neil Maxwell said the bowler may consider altering his workload and Test retirement has “got to be there in his mind somewhere”. “He will definitely be playing international cricket, but what forms he will play in will have to be decided,” Maxwell said in the Sydney Morning Herald.
Andrew Hilditch, Australia’s chairman of selectors, said Lee remained in the panel’s long-term plans. “I don’t think there’s any doubt Brett is good enough to get to the three key events coming up, the World Twenty20 next year, the Ashes next season and the World Cup in 2011,” Hilditch told the Australian before the latest problem was confirmed. “It’s an interesting case because although he’s had injuries, they’ve also given him opportunities to have rests. He’s probably fresher than his years.”
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Post InfoThis entry was posted on Tuesday, November 17th, 2009 and is filed under Cricket, General.
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