Lee hoping for Headingley return
Australia fast bowler Brett Lee is contemplating a return in next week's fourth Test against England after missing the first three matches of this Ashes series with a rib injury.cricket Updated: Aug 02, 2009 20:34 IST
Australia fast bowler Brett Lee is contemplating a return in next week's fourth Test against England after missing the first three matches of this Ashes series with a rib injury.
Lee, the most experienced quick bowler in Australia's squad with 310 wickets from 76 Tests, has been a frustrated spectator while England have taken a 1-0 lead in the five-match series.
The 32-year-old looked poised to complete a successful return from ankle surgery when he suffered the rib problem during a tour match before the first Test in Cardiff.
However, he has been bowling in the nets for over a week and is planning to hit top speed by the end of the ongoing third Test here at Edgbaston.
"I want to be going flat out by day five here so I've got two more days," Lee told CA (Cricket Australia) TV after Saturday's third day was washed out without a ball being bowled.
"I had a really good bowl today, I'll go a little bit harder tomorrow (Sunday) then hard on the fifth day and hopefully be back by full pace then."
Australia have yet to bowl England out twice in this series but their selectors have kept faith thus far with the pace trio of struggling left-armer Mitchell Johnson, Ben Hilfenhaus and Peter Siddle.
But Lee believes he can force his way back in even though there is no tour match between the end of the Edgbaston Test, scheduled to conclude on Monday, and Friday's first day at Headingley.
"I've been bowling now for over a week, purely off about two or three steps," Lee said.
"The second last session, today's (Saturday's) session, was the first time I tried to let the ball go at over 50 percent. I got up to 65-70 percent, maybe 80 percent on a couple of balls."
Australia would, ideally, like Lee to prove his fitness in match conditions before bringing him back for a Test and the bowler himself said: "It's just a matter now of making sure the rib feels okay.
"It feels good so far so we'll just see how it goes."