Wicketkeeper not convinced allrounder will be fit February 27, 2007

Healy's World Cup doubts over Symonds

Cricinfo staff

Ian Healy says if Cameron White can contribute with the ball he is the obvious replacement for Andrew Symonds © Getty Images

Ian Healy expects Andrew Symonds' arm injury to prevent him from taking part in Australia's World Cup defence. Healy told the Herald Sun Symonds, who hopes for a mid-tournament entry, would not have enough time to heal.

"We're talking about a five-week window and I believe it's too big an ask," Healy said. "You're talking about a bicep tendon that's been screwed into his bone. I don't think he'll play against South Africa early in the tournament or the finals for that matter."

Symonds, who will fly to the Caribbean with the squad on Wednesday, had surgery at the beginning of the month and has been happy with his progress. Australia have permission from the ICC to replace Symonds if he fails to regain his fitness and Healy said Cameron White should be the back-up option.

"If they can share, let's say, ten overs between a few of them including White, then he's the obvious bloke to replace Symonds," Healy said. After two warm-ups in St Vincent, Australia play their first match against Scotland on March 14 in St Kitts.