SYDNEY: Australia Test captain Tim Paine will undergo surgery on a pinched nerve in his neck on Tuesday but is confident he will be fit to lead his country into the Ashes series later this year.
Cricket Australia (CA) said Paine had been suffering from pain in his neck and left arm because of “a bulging disc which reduced his ability to train at full intensity and has not responded to treatment”.
“The consensus of the spinal surgeon and the CA medical team was to have the surgery now which will allow plenty of time to fully prepare for the summer,” Paine said in a statement. “I expect to be able to restart physical activity by the end of this month and be back in full training in October. I will be ready to go by the first Test and am very much looking forward to what will be a huge summer.”
The first Test against England at the Gabba in Brisbane is scheduled to start on Dec 8 and will be followed by four further matches in Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney and Perth.
Australia are also due to play Afghanistan in a one-off Test for the first time beginning from Nov 27, but that match in Hobart — Paine’s home city — is now in doubt. CA have threatened to cancel the match unless the Taliban regime backtracks on its reported ban on women playing sport.
Published in Dawn, September 14th, 2021