Shoulder surgery forces out Lehmann - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Shoulder surgery forces out Lehmann

By Jim Morton, WELLINGTON, March 1 AAP 01/03/2005 07:43:27 PM Comments (0)

A lingering shoulder injury has issued last rites on Darren Lehmann's international cricket career.

Lehmann will undergo surgery to his left shoulder next week, forcing him out of contention for Australia's three-match Test series against New Zealand this month.

Scans confirmed the 35-year-old needs to go under the knife after being plagued by soreness to the joint for four months and requiring a series of cortisone injections to stay on the field.

Lehmann will have the operation after leading South Australia in a Pura Cup clash against Western Australia in Perth, starting Thursday.

"I am keen to play for the Redbacks this week and have been assured that I will not set back my recovery by doing so, however the shoulder will not stand up to the rigours of three Test matches," he said.

The veteran left-hander was already an unlikely tourist after being axed from the one-day squad last month to open the door for Simon Katich to take his place in the Test top six.

Lehmann still remains hopeful of extending his 28-Test career with a full recovery in time for this winter's Ashes series but age, fitness and a lack of form will not be on his side.

"I want to get the shoulder right so I am fit and ready for the Ashes," he said.

The versatile Mike Hussey now looms as the squad's reserve batsman after scoring 114 runs from 116 balls without being dismissed in three one-day bats in NZ conditions.

Victorian batsman Brad Hodge will vie for selection with Hussey after another successful season with the Redbacks, scoring 735 runs at 61.25 in the Pura Cup.

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