ST LUCIA: Brett Lee is determined to play on after his latest setback, but Australia’s team doctor has foreshadowed a difficult road back for the speedster, who flew home from the World Twenty20 campaign in the Caribbean with an arm injury.A shattered Lee departed St Lucia on Wednesday but wants to force his way back into the Australian one-day side for the July tour against Pakistan in England. Lee’s manager, Neil Maxwell, said the 33-year-old paceman was not considering international retirement following the latest setback – his fifth notable injury in the past 16 months.”I don’t think that he is at that mindset at the moment,” Maxwell told the Herald soon after speaking with Lee yesterday. ”There is no doubt this is the home straight [of his career] but he knows that last October- November he was playing the best cricket of his career.”Maxwell added Lee had returned from his elbow surgery too soon in order to play in the IPL, where he suffered a broken thumb.The new elbow injury – unrelated to the previous one – will sideline Lee for up to three weeks, forcing Australia to call Ryan Harris into their World Twenty20 squad. Lee’s plan to fight his way back into the ODI side and retire after next year’s World Cup will depend entirely on the selectors’ willingness to risk him again.Team physiotherapist Alex Kountouris, who has devoted much of his time over the years to helping Lee recover from injuries, conceded the fast bowler’s body was suffering from a decade of strain in the international arena and predicted an arduous psychological battle ahead.”It would be very, very hard, I would imagine,” Kountouris said. ”In the last 12 months he has hardly played and he has had four different injuries [not including the broken thumb]. He had ankle surgery early last year, he had that side strain in England, and then he got that elbow injury after that. One is sort of a consequence of another. The common factor is he has got to come back and he has got to do something that is very difficult to do at the best of times, and he’s trying to do it with a body that is being rehabilitated. You have to try to manage it as best as possible. But that’s what happens when you push your body to the limit. Sometimes things don’t work for you.”The road ahead might be difficult, but Kountouris and Lee’s Australian teammates believe the paceman can resurrect his international career. ”If he wants to come back from this, he can,” Kountouris said. ”If he wants to rehab it, he’ll be fine. In 12 months from now, he’s not going to have an issue. It’s whether he wants to keep doing it, and so far he has. He has been motivated.”Teammate Nathan Hauritz said: ”Knowing Brett the way I do, he’ll work hard because he still wants to play a lot of cricket. He’ll have to do a lot of work.”Lee strained a muscle in his right forearm during his fourth over of the match against Zimbabwe on Tuesday.
Nanjing Night Net