Australia news November 27, 2011

Johnson considers surgery on foot

ESPNcricinfo staff

Mitchell Johnson, the Australia fast bowler, may have surgery on his injured left foot, which could rule him out of the whole of Australia's home season. Scans have shown a piece of metal embedded under Johnson's left big toe, and it is not certain for how long it has been there.

Johnson had hurt his toe while batting against South Africa in the Johannesburg Test, and there was considerable swelling and pain after the game. He was left out of Australia's squad for the Gabba Test against New Zealand, which starts December 1, and sent to see a foot specialist in Perth. If he decides to go ahead with the surgery he could also miss the subsequent home series against India.

"He's still seeing specialists so that [surgery] may happen or it may not," Australia's physiotherapist Alex Kountouris told WAtoday. "There's more tests to be done and more specialists to consult. He's got an unusual injury so it's something that we need to have a careful think about but I can tell you now he's not definitely having surgery. We haven't made a decision on it yet. We're just trying to manage it."

It has been a difficult last year and a half for Johnson: since June 2010 he averages 45.71 with the ball and his place in the side has been questioned. He was dropped for the second Ashes Test, in Adelaide, returned to take nine wickets in Perth but has since not taken more than four wickets in a Test. During the series in South Africa, Johnson once again struggled with the ball, taking just three wickets over the two Tests, though he did play important innings of 38 not out and 40 not out in Australia's victory at the Wanderers.

Australia lost four other players to injury after the South Africa tour: Pat Cummins has a bruised heel, Shane Watson a hamstring strain, Shaun Marsh a back ailment and Ryan Harris a pelvis problem.