Tim Paine will have surgery to repair a trapped nerve in his neck on Tuesday; Australia’s Test captain expected to return to action in November; first Ashes Test takes place at the Gabba on December 8; Paine also backs calls to cancel Test against Afghanistan ahead of England’s visit
By Joe Shread
Last Updated: 13/09/21 8:37am
Australia Test captain Tim Paine will undergo neck surgery this week but is expected to be fit for the Ashes, which begin in December.
Paine is suffering from a bulging disc and pinched nerve in his neck, which are causing pain in his neck and left arm, and the decision has been made for him to go under the knife on Tuesday.
Cricket Australia (CA) said in a statement on Monday that the plan will be for Paine to return to light training by the end of this month before a return to playing in November.
The first of the five Ashes Tests begins at the Gabba in Brisbane on December 8.
In a statement released via Cricket Australia, Paine said: “The consensus of the spinal surgeon and the CA medical team was to have the surgery now which will allow plenty of time to fully prepare for the summer.
“I expect to be able to restart physical activity by the end of this month and be back in full training in October. I will be ready to go by the first Test and am very much looking forward to what will be a huge summer.”
Paine is no stranger to surgery, having previously undergone seven operations on a finger injury that nearly forced him into retirement in 2016.
However, just a year later he was handed a surprise recall to the Test side, before being named captain in 2018.
Paine was part of the Australia side that thrashed England 4-0 to win the Ashes at home in 2017/18, and led them to the 2-2 series draw in England in 2019 that saw his side retain the urn.
Paine has also given his backing to cancelling Australia’s Test against Afghanistan in November over the Taliban’s stance that Afghan women will not be able to play cricket under their rule.
Cricket Australia said last week it felt it had “no alternative” but to pull out of the match, and Paine told Australia’s SEN radio station: “I don’t think we want to be associated with countries that are taking opportunities or things off literally half their population.”