Melbourne:His career graph sliding due to constant injury breakdowns, Australian pacer Brett Lee has been told by chairman of selectors Andrew Hilditch to produce his absolute best on return from the latest arm injury to have any chance of being picked again.
Hilditch conceded that the 33-year-old Lee was rushed back too early after recovering from an elbow surgery that took over eight weeks to heal.
"He can come back from injury, he came back to pretty much his best the last time. This elbow injury has obviously been a big setback. With the benefit of hindsight he might have tried to come back too early," Hilditch was quoted as saying by 'The Australian Associated Press'.
"Really, now he's going to have a hard rehab program to get back to his best if that's what he wants to do. He's got to see what his rehab is like and needs to get back to his best - but he needs to be back to his best," he added.
Lee was picked for the Twenty20 World Cup in the West Indies despite concerns about his fitness and ultimately had to be replaced by Ryan Harris owing to an arm injury.
"I acknowledge that at the time it was a little bit of a gamble. We needed him to play eight or nine IPL games to get ready, which he had in front of him," Hilditch said.
"Then he had the thumb injury which impacted his preparation. That was disappointing. In the end, the result doesn't impact on this tournament, Ryan will be here, he was very close to selection in the first squad," he added.
Lee's latest injury is his fifth since December 2008 in a long list that includes ankle, elbow and other niggles.
Team physio Alex Kountouris, however, hopes to see Lee back in action in another five weeks.
"He has got to see what his rehab is like and needs to get back to his best. If he gets back to his best he will be a very potent weapon for us. He has been a great bowler for Australia.
"Really this is now in the hands of how he comes back from this injury," he said.