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Friday, 10 March, 2000, 14:53 GMT
Ponting faces lengthy layoff
ponting
Ponting should be back for the series against South Africa
Australian batsman Ricky Ponting faces a six-month break from the game, after successful surgery revealed more damage to his right ankle than anticipated.

Although Ponting had originally expected to be out of action only briefly, surgeon Martin Sullivan said on Friday the right-hander had done enormous damage to the ankle.


It's not nice being on the outskirts and I don't intend being here for long.

Ricky Ponting
"We gave him every opportunity to get better without surgery but we knew all along he needed surgery," Sullivan said.

"The guy's had major surgery, it was a terrible injury. The bottom line is he hit the fence at ferocious speed and did a lot of damage."

Ponting injured himself after sliding into the boundary fence at the Sydney Cricket Ground, while fielding in a one-day match against Pakistan last month.

The injury means Ponting will miss the current tour of New Zealand and a three-match one day series in South Africa next month.

Australia then play a return three-match home series against South Africa in August and then have no commitments until the home Test series against the West Indies starts in October.

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