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Last Updated: Thursday, 9 November 2006, 08:24 GMT
Vaughan close to making comeback
Michael Vaughan
Vaughan could have a chance of playing later in the Test series
England's injured captain Michael Vaughan hopes to be playing in three weeks' time, giving him a chance to play in the Ashes series.

Vaughan has not played a Test since November, when he was forced home from Pakistan to have knee surgery.

"I leave for Australia a week on Saturday and I'm going purely to concentrate on rehabilitation.

"Whether it takes two games, five games or a month to be match fit is up to the selectors," he said.

Theoretically, Vaughan could be in contention for the third Test, which begins in Perth on 14 December.

He's a great batsmen and I'm sure England would be a lot stronger team with him in it

Troy Cooley
Australia bowling coach

Vaughan was England's sole bright spot during their last tour of Australia in 2002/03, when he scored three centuries in the 4-1 series defeat.

Australia bowling coach Troy Cooley, who was part of the England set-up when they won the Ashes in 2005, said the batsman's return could only be good for the tourists.

"You never know what Michael's up to, he's very sneaky around things like that, I'm sure he'll be ready when he's ready," Cooley told BBC Five Live.

"If he's ready earlier then all the better for English cricket. He's a great batsmen and a major player and I'm sure England would be a lot stronger team with him in it."

Vaughan will join the England Academy squad in Perth to continue his rehabilitation, and some club games could be organised to test his mobility.

He had originally set his sights on the one-day series that follows the Test series early next year but suggested last month he could be fit to play a part in the Ashes defence.

"I hope to be playing cricket again in three weeks," Vaughan told a lunch at the National Sporting Club in London.

"The knee is coming on well and by that time I hope to be able to put a call in and say I'm available to play."





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