Lee's right elbow has given him problems in recent months
Australian pace bowler Brett Lee has had surgery on his right elbow in an effort to cure a ligament injury.
Lee, 33, suffered the problem in a one-day game against India in October and aggravated it further in November.
"He needs to wear a brace for about six weeks before he starts more intensive rehab," said Cricket Australia medical officer Dr Trefor James.
The lay-off may mean the next time Lee will be fit to play for Australia is on their tour of New Zealand in March.
Dr James added: "His bowling return will be determined in due course as he is assessed by the surgeon and our medical staff."
Lee has taken 310 Test wickets in 76 matches and 324 one-day internationals scalps in 186 appearances for his country but has had an injury-plagued year.
He was unable to tour South Africa because of an ankle injury and missed the summer's Ashes series with a side strain but was then the leading wicket-taker in the one-day series against England, which followed the Test matches.
Speaking in October, Lee conceded he needed to "get this elbow right" before making a decision on his future but added he did not feel ready to retire yet.
"I don't know how the elbow is going to pull up but I've had setbacks before and don't see why I can't come back from this," he said.
"I am 33 years of age but with the cricket I've missed, I don't see my body being 33 as well. I still think there is a lot of cricket left in me."