Former Australia captain Steve Smith’s participation in the Ashes could be in doubt as he needs elbow surgery.
Smith’s 12-month ban following the Cape Town ball-tampering scandal is set to end on March 28.
The 29-year-old could have found himself back in contention for the baggy green again ahead of the World Cup and the Ashes, which are both to be staged in England.
However, following the ligament problem in his right elbow which forced him to stop playing for the Comilla Victorians in the Bangladesh Premier League, it remains to be seen how much recovery time he will now face.
Cricket Australia revealed Smith is set to undergo surgery on January 15, and is expected to be in a brace for around six weeks, followed by a period of rehabilitation.
“Return to play timeframes will be clearer once the brace has been removed,” a spokesperson for Cricket Australia said.