Australia hopeful on injured six for Sri Lanka

Friday, 27 May 2011 00:26 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australia are confident that the majority of their six injured players will be fit to take part in the tour of Sri Lanka which begins in August.

Australia will play three tests, five one-day internationals and two Twenty20 matches against the World Cup finalists with former captain Ricky Ponting among the six expected to be fit for the tour starting on Aug. 6.

Ponting underwent an operation to remove screws placed in the finger he injured during the Ashes series defeat to England in January but the minor surgery is not expected to hamper his preparations for the tour, Cricket Australia said in a statement on Thursday.

Wicketkeeper Brad Haddin (fractured finger) will be fit in June while leg-spinner Steve Smith should be ready after surgery on a troublesome left ankle injury.

All-rounder John Hastings will resume bowling and throwing next month after injuring his right shoulder whilst playing in the ongoing Indian Premier League with spinner Nathan Hauritz (shoulder) also expected to return to action next month.

Pace bowler Clint McKay is progressing well after surgery on a stress fracture in his left foot but his return will depend on his rehabilitation over the next month.

Australia, the leading one-day side, have seen their advantage at the top of the rankings slashed after second-placed India triumphed on home soil in last month’s World Cup final.

Another injured Australian, backup wicketkeeper Tim Paine, like Ponting, had minor surgery to remove screws in an injured finger but should be available to lead the A side on their end of June tour to Zimbabwe.