I may never bowl again, says Brett Lee

Australia's injury-plagued pacer Brett Lee, who's working hard on his rehabilitation from elbow surgery, fears he may never bowl again.

updated: February 07, 2010 10:11 IST
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New Delhi:

Australia's injury-plagued pacer Brett Lee fears he may never bowl again in competitive cricket.

Lee, who's working hard on his rehabilitation from elbow surgery, told The Daily Telegraph that he would consult Test captain Ricky Ponting before deciding whether to press on with his career or call it a day.

"I'll keep it mainly in-house than talk to the team, but at some stage I will sit down with Punter (Ponting), if that's needed," he said

Lee, hell bent on defying the odds to overcome the most painful injury of his illustrious career, admitted there was no guarantee he would be seen in Australian colours again.

Australia coach Tim Nielsen on Friday had said the 33-year-old was had his future in One-Day Internationals and not in Tests.

But Lee told The Sunday Telegraph there was every possibility he may never bowl again after elbow surgery.

"As far as my cricket goes, anything is possible. You can read into it what you want, but I may play one-dayers, or no cricket at all," said Lee, who has taken 310 Test wickets and 324 one-day scalps.

"I may never bowl another ball again, and if that's the case I'm so satisfied with my career and my longevity. I'm not saying it's definitely over, but I'm not sure what I want to be just yet.

"To be perfectly honest, I'm not sure what I still want to do at this point in my cricketing life. I need to get to the stage where, if I want to, I can do what I need to do on the field.

"If it's the case that I don't play again, well that's the case. There is a part of me that would like to play some sort of cricket again. But what kind of cricket that is, I don't know."

A veteran of 76 Tests had 12 injuries throughout his 13-year first-class career, including back, ankle, rib and elbow problems. But he said he had never encountered an injury like his recent elbow complaint.

"This has been the hardest surgery I've been through. It's certainly been the most painful," Lee said. "There's no miracle treatment for me. It's taking time.

"I still don't know when I'll be able to bowl again. I can't even give you an exact time.

"I will see how the arm pulls up because I can't achieve any aspirations in cricket moving forward unless my body is functional.

"It just takes time really, it's something I can't rush."

Lee, who last played a Test in December 2008 against South Africa, admitted his philosophy has shifted. It is a by-product of his Ashes setback last year, when he injured a rib on the eve of the first Test and was overlooked on returning to fitness.

"The disappointment of that Ashes series really hurt," he says.

"I had worked so hard to get my body to the stage where I was the fittest I'd ever been, then to break down before the first Ashes game ... that was heartbreaking. Not playing the last two [Tests] when I was fit again was really tough to accept."