Ankle surgery turns into a 'blessing' November 3, 2007

Lee in top shape for Sri Lanka

Cricinfo staff

Brett Lee is feeling fresh and fast © Getty Images

Brett Lee says missing the World Cup with an ankle injury was a blessing as it allowed him to enter a hectic campaign at full fitness. Lee, who had surgery before the Caribbean tournament, has added some extra bulk in the off-season and believes he's the fittest he's been as he prepares for the first Test against Sri Lanka on Thursday.

"The ankle problems I've been playing with for six or seven years are also gone," Lee said in the Daily Telegraph. "Getting that surgery done, even though it meant missing the World Cup success, has turned out to be an absolute blessing."

Lee will have some competition from his team-mates in the battle of the fastest this summer after Mitchell Johnson and Shaun Tait were named in the 13-man Test squad. However, setting the radar alight is not his priority.

"I've reached 160kph a few times now so it's not at the top of my Christmas wish list," he said. "But with everything that's happened there's no reason why as a fast bowler I can't bowl with great pace, great speed."

Damien Fleming, who played 20 Tests, believes both Lee and Tait can pass 160kph. "Brett's been bowling 150kph for a while now but who knows how much those ankle problems he had were holding him back. We might be about to see the very best of Brett Lee."