Lee pays the price for putting in 20 percent of his career workload in 2008

December 29th, 2008 - 2:03 pm ICT by ANI  

Sydney, Dec2 9 (ANI): Australias main attack bowler Brett Lee has paid a heavy price for his gruelling 2008 campaign, and will miss the Sydney Test and possibly the tour of South Africa with a stress reaction to his left foot.

Australias bowling struggles since the retirements of Glenn McGrath and Shane Warne have caused Lee to bowl a mammoth 570.1 overs this year, about 20 per cent of his career workload, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.

Team physiotherapist Alex Kountouris said Lee would try to bowl in the second innings at the MCG, but he would not guarantee the pacemans participation.

Kountouris estimated that the stress reaction - the stage before a stress fracture - to the fourth metatarsal of his left foot could require up to six weeks of rest.

The Australians begin their tour of South Africa on February 20.

He might bowl one ball, he might bowl 10 overs or 15 overs. Its on the way to being a stress fracture. At the moment, the cracks not there, but its not far away, Kountouris said.

The risk is that a crack will form and the bone may break, but in some peoples opinion its probably a better scenario because the bone heals better. If you have a little tiny crack it can take a long time for it to heal. [A break] is not what we”re aiming for but there is a risk of that happening.

Its typically four to six weeks for the metatarsal bones but well have to reassess it at the end of the game. Its an overuse injury but its to do with mechanics. Its more a twisting injury, Kountouris said.

Lee had pain in the foot after his first spell on day two, and it worsened over the course of the afternoon. He underwent MRI scans that evening and was taken to hospital for X-rays yesterday, where the problem was discovered.

Lees absence in Sydney will likely result in Ben Hilfenhaus and Doug Bollinger competing for the right to partner Johnson and Peter Siddle. (ANI)

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