Allrounder should be fit for South Africa tour January 18, 2009

Symonds recovering well from knee operation

Cricinfo staff

Andrew Symonds is expected to be back in action in three to five weeks © Getty Images

Andrew Symonds is on track to make next month's Test tour of South Africa following knee surgery on New Year's Eve. Symonds missed the Sydney victory after hobbling through the loss at the MCG and there is hope from the team camp that he will be available for part of the five-match one-day series against New Zealand.

"I would be disappointed if Andrew wasn't available to go to South Africa," Alex Kountouris, Australia's physio, said in the Sunday Telegraph. "Things are progressing well.

"Andrew has been taking it easy but I expect him to be doing some running this week and we will gradually build his recovery up over the coming weeks. At this stage it's hard to say when Andrew will be back but I'd expect it to be somewhere between three to five weeks."

Australia would like Symonds involved following the loss of a series of players over the past month. Stuart Clark, Brett Lee and Shane Watson are out injured while Matthew Hayden retired from the game last week. Michael Clarke is also carrying a thumb problem and Phil Jaques is about to return from back surgery.

"I'd be lying if I said there wasn't that need for me to get out there," Jaques said after delaying his club comeback by a week. "But in saying that, I've taken three months out of the game to get my back right.

"I don't want to go back in and get another operation down the track. I want to be 100% ready when I start playing again. If that means I miss a tour, I miss a tour. But I'm confident I'll be right. I was a bit concerned [at first] because I hadn't felt any discomfort whatsoever since I'd been back in work. But it's nothing major and it's responded really well."