Surgery to delay Smith’s comeback
STEVE Smith will undergo elbow surgery on Tuesday, almost certainly ruining the suspended superstar’s hopes of an international comeback in March.
Smith, who is set to be in a brace for six weeks following the operation, is on track to be fully fit long before Australia starts its World Cup defence on June 1.
Australia’s sacked skipper, currently serving a 12-month ban for his role in the Cape Town cheating scandal, is upbeat he will be cleared to re- turn in the early stages of the Indian Premier League.
But the prospect of Smith returning for Australia during an ODI series against Pakistan in late March, which had been floated by national coach Justin Langer and Cricket Australia chief executive Kevin Roberts, is over barring a miraculous recovery.
Australia must submit its 15-man World Cup squad by April 23, although it can make changes without needing approval until May 23.
It means Smith’s best-case scenario is that he will have a month of IPL cricket to convince selectors he is ready to be part of Australia’s World Cup defence.
Langer and Smith spoke yesterday, when CA medicos made a swift but far from straightforward decision after reviewing scans of the ligament injury that forced the 29year-old to cut short his stint in Bangladesh’s Twenty20 league.
It is believed the operation is a reattachment, as opposed to a reconstruction.
The latter would have resulted in a much longer stint on the sidelines and potentially more serious ramifications for Smith’s World Cup hopes.
SETBACK: Steve Smith