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Page last updated at 11:29 GMT, Sunday, 4 January 2009

Paceman Lee faces five months out

Australia's Brett Lee
Lee and Andrew Symonds will miss the third Test against South Africa

Australia bowler Brett Lee is set to be sidelined for up to five months after undergoing surgery to correct a long-standing problem with his left ankle.

It was decided that Lee should have surgery on Saturday as the 32-year-old was also expected to be out for some time with a metatarsal injury.

Lee suffered a stress fracture of a metatarsal bone during the second Test against South Africa in Melbourne.

But he is expected to be available for the World Twenty20 in June.

Australia team physiotherapist Alex Kountouris said: "If Brett's rehabilitation program goes to plan he is expected to be available for selection for Australia for the ICC World Twenty20 later this year."

Lee told Australia's Channel Nine: "I have been through four of these (operations) now ... I know that I can overcome it and I am looking forward to the challenge.

"I want to offer a few more years of cricket and I know that I can offer that.

"It is going to be a challenge, it is going to be hard work, there is no doubting that. But I know that if I do put my mind to it I do really want to come back and play for Australia."

The principal target would, of course, be the Ashes series with the first of five Tests in Cardiff from 8 July.

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see also
Clarke century boosts Australia
04 Jan 09 |  Cricket
Lee & Symonds to miss final Test
30 Dec 08 |  Australia
Aussies lick their wounds
30 Dec 08 |  Cricket
S Africa run chase stuns Aussies
21 Dec 08 |  Cricket

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