Lee to miss Ashes opener

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Brett Lee is to miss the first npower Ashes Test in Cardiff starting on Wednesday with a left side injury, Australia have confirmed.

The 32-year-old, a survivor of the Australia side who lost the Ashes in England in 2005, will miss out after a scan confirmed an injury to the rib area on the left side of his body.

Lee reported soreness in the left side of his ribs after the draw with England Lions and underwent scans today in a bid to locate the source of the pain.

Lee, who has 310 wickets in 76 Test appearances, put himself in contention for a return with six first-innings wickets against England's second string last week.

He had been sidelined prior to the current tour with foot and heel injuries - his last Test was a defeat by South Africa back in December - and Mitchell Johnson and Peter Siddle impressed in his absence during the 2-1 Test campaign win in South Africa.

But his stunning display of reverse swing in Worcester made his inclusion alongside that pair a certainty prior to his latest misfortune.

Alex Kountouris, the Australian team physio, said: "The scan revealed he has a small strain in one of his abdominal muscles - the internal oblique muscle.

"It is not as bad as it could have been, so we are going to monitor it over the next couple of weeks."

Asked if Lee, 32, would be fit for next week's second Test at Lord's, Kountouris added: "He is not out but the chances are slim."

Lee, who has not played a Test since December due to foot and ankle injuries, added: "This is only a small obstacle put in front of me.

"If it was my ankle and something of a structural thing I would be a lot more concerned."