Kirby injury blow for Somerset
Somerset fast bowler Steve Kirby has been ruled out of the first six weeks of the season.
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The veteran quick, 36, needs an operation on an ankle problem that has bothered him since the club's tour of South Africa.
It will be his second operation in six months - he went under the knife last October to sort out a shoulder injury.
"I am very disappointed by this because it's been a tough winter for me. It is the first time in 19 years that I haven't been able to start a season," Kirby told the club website.
"However cricket throws up challenges all the time and it is about how you respond to them. I am very excited about getting back to show that I still have a lot to offer."
Dave Nosworthy the Somerset Director of Cricket said: "Obviously this is not ideal news for Kirbs and for us as a team, however these things are part and parcel of professional sport. We wish him all of the best for the operation and look forward to having him back as soon as possible."
Somerset begin their Division One campaign against Yorkshire at Taunton on Sunday.