Surgery puts Smith in doubt for Cup

Sunday Mail - - SPORT - RUS­SELL GOULD

BANNED for­mer Test cap­tain Steve Smith needs el­bow surgery and may not be ready for his re­turn to in­ter­na­tional cricket on March 28, or for the World Cup.

Cricket Aus­tralia of­fi­cials con­firmed yesterday that Smith, who was sent home from the Bangladesh Premier League with el­bow sore­ness, had sus­tained lig­a­ment dam­age, putting his World Cup as­pi­ra­tions in jeop­ardy.

“Steve Smith will un­dergo surgery on Tuesday to re­pair a lig­a­ment in his right el­bow. He is ex­pected to wear a brace for six weeks be­fore com­menc­ing re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion,” a CA spokesper­son said.

“Re­turn to play time frames will be clearer once the brace has been re­moved.”

Smith and fel­low banned bats­men David Warner were pen­cilled in as cer­tain­ties to re­turn to the Aus­tralia line-up for a five-game one-day se­ries against Pak­istan in March and April, a cru­cial tune-up be­fore the World Cup in Eng­land.

But Smith won’t begin what’s likely to be ex­ten­sive re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion un­til March.

Aus­tralian se­lec­tors have to pick a 15-man World Cup squad by April 23.

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