Alan Border believes Shane Warne will be able to make an immediate return for Australia when his 12-month drug ban ends next February.
Former Test skipper Border, now an Australian selector, also confirmed the disgraced leg spinner would have the opportunity to
train with the national squad during his suspension.
He said: "I think he's so good that he could come straight back into
the squad, and we'll have the opportunity in the summer months to
get Shane involved.
"He's allowed to bowl in the nets and prepare himself, so we'll just monitor how he's going."
Warne's suspension ends on 10 February 2004, and Australia
are scheduled to tour Sri Lanka later that month.
The controversial bowler, named in 2000 as one of Wisden's five cricketers of the century, is his country's leading wicket-taker, with 491 wickets in 107 matches.
He received some good news last month when Cricket Australia failed in a bid to prevent the 33-year-old from playing in charity and testimonial matches during his doping suspension.
Meanwhile, Border suggested Steve Waugh could continue captaining the Test side "until he drops".
Border was part of the selection panel that dropped the
38-year-old from the one-day side last year.
But Border - who holds the world record for Test runs
of 11,174, a mark now being threatened by Waugh - said Waugh
continued to look the part in Tests.
"He just looks the goods, doesn't he?" Border said.
"And the side play well under his captaincy. So at this
stage it's hard to see a final scenario for Stephen.
"It might just be a situation that he keeps going till he
Waugh, who has scored 10,521 runs in a world record 162 Test
appearances, scored hundreds in both Tests against Bangladesh last month.
He has 32 centuries, one more than
Sachin Tendulkar and two less than former India captain Sunil
Following successful series against West Indies and
Bangladesh, Waugh is looking forward to Australia's tour of India in 2004.
His last Test tour there in 2001 ended in a 2-1 defeat as
Australia's unprecedented run of 16 wins in a row came to a