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Harris facing lengthy lay-off

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Ryan Harris & Ricky Ponting

Ryan Harris will undergo surgery on his left ankle after suffering a stress fracture during the fourth Ashes Test at the MCG

Ryan Harris was today set to undergo surgery on his injured left ankle and is expected to be out of cricket for three to four months.

The Australia fast bowler suffered a stress fracture of the joint on day three of his team’s fourth-Test defeat against England in Melbourne.

Cricket Australia doctor Trefor James confirmed: “Ryan was reviewed by a specialist in Melbourne this morning.

“The specialist confirmed that the best management for the stress fracture of his left ankle would be to undergo surgery.

“This surgery will occur today, and we expect Ryan’s recovery time to be three to four months.”

It is therefore highly unlikely he will be available for Australia’s defence of their World Cup title, which begins in February.