Smith to undergo elbow surgery in ban return setback
FORMER Australian captain Steve Smith will undergo surger y for an elbow injur y, Cricket Austra lia said on Saturday, in a move likely to have i mplicat ions for his ret ur n to t he internationa l game wit h less t han t hree months left on his ball-tampering ban.
Smith is current ly ser v ing a oneyear ban from international cricket, Au s t r a l i a’s dome s t i c She f f i e l d Shield and Big Bash leagues over a ba l l-ta mpering sca nda l dur i ng a Test match i n Sout h A f r ic a l a st March.
He was forced to drop out of the Bangladesh Premier League Twen- t y20 tou r na ment t his week a f ter playing only two matches due to the i nju r y a nd is set to go under t he k ni fe on Tuesday to repa i r a l igament in his right elbow.
Following the surger y the 29-yearold r ig ht-ha nder i s ex pected to spend si x weeks in a brace and then undergo extensive rehabilitation.
A Cricket Austra lia spokesperson said on Saturday that Smith’s return to playing will be made clearer once the brace is removed.
The injur y comes as a major blow to Smith, whose 12-month ban is set to end on March 28.
It is a lso ex pected to a f fect his cha nces of bei ng picked i n t he nationa l side for the World Cup as well as the Ashes series in England later t his year.
Test skipper Tim Paine this month urged t he Austra lian public to give Smith and his deputy David Warner – who is a lso in the midst of a ban for ball-tampering – a second chance saying he hoped “they’re welcomed back” into the national team, where t he pair’s absence has lef t a la rge void.
Australia recently lost a first ever home Test series against India.
Former Australian cricket captain Steve Smith speaks during a press conference at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) on December 21.