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Last Updated: Wednesday, 10 March, 2004, 06:18 GMT
Lee returns home
Brett Lee
Lee damaged his ankle against a Sri Lanka President's XI last week
Australia paceman Brett Lee will miss the rest of the Sri Lanka tour because of an ankle problem.

He is returning home for further treatment after suffering the injury last week during a practice match.

Lee bowled in the nets on Tuesday but complained of soreness and physio Alex Kountouri decided to send him home.

"I am really disappointed because I thought I was on the mend, but I guess it's back to square one now to rectify the problem." said Lee.

He added: "Initially I felt pretty good after the training session but once the pain returned I knew I was in trouble."

Kountouri said Lee was suffering from inflammation at the back of the ankle joint.

"Given it is the ankle that was operated on last October, we felt it was prudent to get him seen to by doctors back in Australia, rather than remain on tour where it has become apparent that his condition hasn't improved."

A replacement will be named once the selectors have spoken to Glenn McGrath, who only returned to first-class cricket last weekend after ankle surgery.

Despite his lack of match practice in recent months, McGrath is happy with fitness, which he has described as "the best I've felt for years".

Australia have also been hit by a shoulder injury to bowler Michael Kasprowicz in the first Test in Sri Lanka.

Kasprowicz sprained his shoulder after colliding with a ball boy towards the end of day two in Galle, but Australia are hopeful he will bowl in the second innings.

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