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 Thursday, 9 January, 2003, 04:58 GMT
Warne to make early return
American tennis player Andy Roddick and Shane Warne
Warne shows tennis star Andy Roddick how to spin it
Australia leg-spinner Shane Warne will captain Victoria in a one-day match against Western Australia in Melbourne on Friday, 26 days after dislocating his shoulder.

Warne dislocated his right bowling shoulder fielding a ball during a VB Series one-dayer against England on 15 December, casting doubt on whether he would be fit for next month's World Cup.

There were, in fact, real concerns at the time that Warne's career could be in jeopardy, largely because he had surgery on the same shoulder five years ago.

But the damage around the socket was minimal and Warne has been back in the nets for over a week.

Pakistan opener

Warne's return to first-class cricket was sealed on Wednesday when he completed a training session in Sydney under the scrutiny of Australian team physio Errol Alcott.

The 33-year-old was chosen in Australia's 15-man squad for the World Cup after selectors were told they could replace him if he did not recover in time.

The Australian selectors, however, originally said Warne might be rested for the first half of the tournament to save him for the finals.

Australia's first match in the World Cup is against Pakistan on 11 February in Johannesburg.

Cricket World Cup 2003 begins on 8 February in South Africa

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