Lengthy lay-off for Shaun Marsh
Australia batsman Shaun Marsh is set to be sidelined for up to four months following confirmation he is to undergo elbow surgery next week.
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The 31-year-old left-hander, who marked his return to Test cricket earlier this year with a century against South Africa, injured his elbow while playing for Kings XI Punjab in the Indian Premier League.
It rules Marsh out of Australia's upcoming limited-overs series against Zimbabwe and Pakistan along with the Twenty20 Champions League in India.
Australia team physiotherapist Alex Kountouris said in a statement: "It's a pretty significant injury.
"We don't see it much in cricket; it's a common baseball injury - pitchers in particular. Cricketers tend to cope with just a short period of rest and they come back and do well. Shaun has had a short period of rest, but it's still a problem and we know that surgery takes a long time to recover.
"There's a three-to-four month recovery period and we've chosen to go ahead with that because it gives him time to play for WA and prepare for the World Cup and the Ashes next year."
It will also be a similar wait for the return to action of Ryan Harris, the world's number two ranked bowler, who is still recovering from knee surgery in March.
It had been hoped the 34-year-old could return in time to face Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates in October, but Kountouris has now said the target is to get Harris back in action before Christmas.
"We're certainly not looking to him to be right for the UAE at the moment," Kountouris said on the Cricket Australia website.
"He's going to start running in the next couple of weeks and we'll see how his knee responds to that and hopefully it'll respond the way we expect.
"If he copes with that, we'll transition him into bowling.
"We're looking for him to be able to play somewhere before Christmas.
"Hopefully it'll be the India Test matches and he'll play some Sheffield Shield matches before that, but until he starts running and then bowling it's very hard to predict what's going to happen."