Australia v England, 4th Test, Melbourne, 3rd day December 28, 2010

Stress fracture leaves Harris needing surgery

32

Ryan Harris is expected to undergo surgery for a stress fracture on his left ankle after suffering an injury that threatens to curtail his promising Test career. Harris, who also has a chronic knee problem, broke down in his run-up seven overs into the third day at the MCG and scans revealed a crack in the 31-year-old's foot.

He has become a hugely valuable member of the side during his five Tests, but now faces a lengthy lay-off that should also rule him out of Australia's World Cup plans. "Ryan is likely to require surgery and will consult a specialist in the next 24 hours," Cricket Australia's Dr Trefor James said. A decision on whether he will bat in the second innings will depend on how close Australia are to saving the game.

Harris was running in to bowl when the bone broke and he left the field for treatment after taking off his shoe to examine the damage. He had figures of 0 for 91 off 28.4 overs and Michael Clarke was called to finish the over.

Harris' body has been his major weakness over the past couple of years and a five-Test series has proved too much. After storming to nine wickets in the Perth victory last week he said he would not have an operation to repair his knee because the recovery would take 18 months and effectively end his career.

The ankle problem will take months to heal and it is a particularly troubling issue for fast bowlers, who land all their weight on the left foot during their delivery stride. Brett Lee suffered a similar problem here in 2008 and didn't play Tests again. Harris has taken 20 wickets in his five games, including a career-best 6 for 47 at the WACA.

Peter English is the Australasia editor of Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • worstcasegemini on December 29, 2010, 6:32 GMT

    im wondering what Michael Clarke has done not to be left out of the team !!

  • on December 29, 2010, 5:12 GMT

    True Work Horse and one who bowls his heart out, I hope he gets fit soon as world cricket needs champions and this guy is one true champ.

  • on December 29, 2010, 3:13 GMT

    Australia should bring in players at a younger age not after their 30 . Also 28 overs is quiet a lot for a fast bowler.

  • Something_Witty on December 29, 2010, 1:22 GMT

    Poor Rhino. Maybe now at least the selectors will grow a brain and bring Nathan Hauritz back for Sydney, but knowing them, they'll probably go for that other left arm dibbly-dobbler with a poor FC record and almost no experience. *facepalm* Sadly for Harris, I think that this is the end of his career, certainly in test matches.

  • on December 29, 2010, 1:09 GMT

    Watson, Khawaja, White (c), Ferguson, M Hussey, Haddin, S Smith, O'Keefe, Johnson, Hauritz, Siddle

  • cmw2175 on December 28, 2010, 22:35 GMT

    An old fashioned Aussie. A quality player who unfortunately reached the top level at a relatively advanced age. Unfortunately his injury problems could mean we don't see too much more of him, which is a shame, because he always bowled with pace, heart and skill.

  • Alkais on December 28, 2010, 16:23 GMT

    Harris gave more than 100%. My Team for SCG would be : 1.Hughes,2.Marsh,3.Clarke,4.Hussey,5.Ponting.6.Watson,7.Haddin,8.Haddin,9.Smith,10.Siddle,11.Hilfenhaus. Its time to look for future. THis is the time build a strong team. If selectors decide to give ponting a break, it will be good for him. He can recharge and come back. He has a yr left in him before he retires. Its time to make clarke captain. THat will make him more responsible. Instead of giving Haddin/Hussey the captaincy, its better to make clarke captain. This way he can be groomed. Just like Border, he has to be given long run. Bring back hauritz to the bowling attack. Opening should be given to specialist. Hughes was playing well before he was run out unnecessarily. He was really growing in confidence. Another Player who can be given a long run apart from hughes is Jacques. So it will be 3 openers- Hughes,Shaun Marsh and Jacques. These 3 players are good investments.

  • Finn92 on December 28, 2010, 16:05 GMT

    It's a real shame for him, he is a big threat in limited overs and Aussies will really miss him in ODI series and WC. Hopefully it isn't the end for him, Bollinger will probably be recalled but I don't rate him as a long-term replacement.

  • aracer on December 28, 2010, 14:26 GMT

    As an England supporter I'm very saddened by this news - Harris is a quality player who comes across as being a lot less arrogant than some of the other Aussies who are nowhere near as good as him.

  • on December 28, 2010, 14:21 GMT

    Agree with that about ponting, Johnson and Siddle need to go to improve the sportsmanship. but also I think Clarke should be added to the list of casualties because he has proved many times before he is not an honest person.

  • worstcasegemini on December 29, 2010, 6:32 GMT

    im wondering what Michael Clarke has done not to be left out of the team !!

  • on December 29, 2010, 5:12 GMT

    True Work Horse and one who bowls his heart out, I hope he gets fit soon as world cricket needs champions and this guy is one true champ.

  • on December 29, 2010, 3:13 GMT

    Australia should bring in players at a younger age not after their 30 . Also 28 overs is quiet a lot for a fast bowler.

  • Something_Witty on December 29, 2010, 1:22 GMT

    Poor Rhino. Maybe now at least the selectors will grow a brain and bring Nathan Hauritz back for Sydney, but knowing them, they'll probably go for that other left arm dibbly-dobbler with a poor FC record and almost no experience. *facepalm* Sadly for Harris, I think that this is the end of his career, certainly in test matches.

  • on December 29, 2010, 1:09 GMT

    Watson, Khawaja, White (c), Ferguson, M Hussey, Haddin, S Smith, O'Keefe, Johnson, Hauritz, Siddle

  • cmw2175 on December 28, 2010, 22:35 GMT

    An old fashioned Aussie. A quality player who unfortunately reached the top level at a relatively advanced age. Unfortunately his injury problems could mean we don't see too much more of him, which is a shame, because he always bowled with pace, heart and skill.

  • Alkais on December 28, 2010, 16:23 GMT

    Harris gave more than 100%. My Team for SCG would be : 1.Hughes,2.Marsh,3.Clarke,4.Hussey,5.Ponting.6.Watson,7.Haddin,8.Haddin,9.Smith,10.Siddle,11.Hilfenhaus. Its time to look for future. THis is the time build a strong team. If selectors decide to give ponting a break, it will be good for him. He can recharge and come back. He has a yr left in him before he retires. Its time to make clarke captain. THat will make him more responsible. Instead of giving Haddin/Hussey the captaincy, its better to make clarke captain. This way he can be groomed. Just like Border, he has to be given long run. Bring back hauritz to the bowling attack. Opening should be given to specialist. Hughes was playing well before he was run out unnecessarily. He was really growing in confidence. Another Player who can be given a long run apart from hughes is Jacques. So it will be 3 openers- Hughes,Shaun Marsh and Jacques. These 3 players are good investments.

  • Finn92 on December 28, 2010, 16:05 GMT

    It's a real shame for him, he is a big threat in limited overs and Aussies will really miss him in ODI series and WC. Hopefully it isn't the end for him, Bollinger will probably be recalled but I don't rate him as a long-term replacement.

  • aracer on December 28, 2010, 14:26 GMT

    As an England supporter I'm very saddened by this news - Harris is a quality player who comes across as being a lot less arrogant than some of the other Aussies who are nowhere near as good as him.

  • on December 28, 2010, 14:21 GMT

    Agree with that about ponting, Johnson and Siddle need to go to improve the sportsmanship. but also I think Clarke should be added to the list of casualties because he has proved many times before he is not an honest person.

  • Tlotoxl on December 28, 2010, 13:38 GMT

    A heavy fast bowlerer in his early 30s with an exisiting knee problem gets injured with a serious ankle problem.... that sounds I am sad to say very much like a certain Mr Flintoff at the tail end of last year....

  • bingobob on December 28, 2010, 12:31 GMT

    @Ausindo I'm liking your thought processes when selecting the team but have a few differing opinions. Assuming Aus loses this match (extremely likely) they should look for the future. Katich should not be risked, you don't want to risk such a good player for a game that cannot win you back the ashes. Also Haddin is 33. Both Wade and Paine are by far better keepers. Wade is marginally a better batsman and Paine just under Haddin as a batsman. You should pick one of those too for the keepers job. I'd pick Katich as captain (when he is fit) and I'd pick White as vice captain.

  • umer.me on December 28, 2010, 11:08 GMT

    poor harris....... think so LEE shud be given d chance as he it will boost some ponting confidence

  • amithpallavoor on December 28, 2010, 10:34 GMT

    All the best Rhino! You are my favorite bowler! Wish you recover! Aussies need you!

  • eyballfallenout on December 28, 2010, 9:54 GMT

    @ausindo, Do you live in indo or are from indo. What do you think of this bat order, watson, Cosgrove (getting heaps for tassie) Hussie(c) D hussie, Kawaja, Ferguson, Haddin, Johnson, Bolly, Siddle, Hauritz. Also i am saying that Katich is not fit to play. He would be in my team when recovered.

  • Something_Witty on December 28, 2010, 9:48 GMT

    Agree with Ganesh Hegde. 25 char

  • mariofan97 on December 28, 2010, 9:47 GMT

    the SCG test team should be 1. Shane Watson 2. Shaun Marsh (his dad would be proud) 3. Ricky Ponting 4. Mike Hussey (Captain) 5. Cameron White 6. Usman Khawaja 7. Brad Haddin 8. Steve Smith 9. Mitchell Johnson 10. Peter Siddle 11. Ben Hilfenhaus 12. Michael Beer

  • Chapelau on December 28, 2010, 9:12 GMT

    wrong time to change the team but agree that changes must be made. To improve the sportsmanship of the team, Ponting Siddle and Johnson should go - they are just plain nasty and there is no place in sport for such bad losers. Hussey is exemplary - great player all round. Would love to see Ponting stay and retire after next ashes in England - by which time his average will be below 50 the way he is playing!

  • on December 28, 2010, 9:05 GMT

    Its a shame after earning an international cap so late he is injured. Get well soon.

  • swingnseam on December 28, 2010, 9:03 GMT

    It really does show the state of Aussie cricket when dross like McKay is being touted around as some sort of saviour. He's little more than an old fashioned English county trundler. How a side can go from Gillespie, McGrath and Warne to Hilfenhaus, McKay and no spinner at all is pretty astonishing. I feel for Harris too, if Johnson had half of Harris's workrate, heart and determination England would be in real trouble.

  • Okakaboka on December 28, 2010, 8:17 GMT

    @ausindo....Very good....Not bad...better than anything Hilditch and Co could do. If Katich isn't fit, open with Jacques and Slot McDonald in if he is fit. This gives us a great bowling line up. Bollinger generally bowls very well with Siddle. Mackay is quite a good bowler and can really bat when he wants to. I would make White Captain...look long term and dump Haddin for Wade (or Paine). Wade is a mile better keeper and a better bat than Haddin. (Note: he is Left hander) Either way, this combination looks better than the existing team. Finch is another option. He is a better bat than Khawaja and Ferguson.....and could open the innings.

  • MisterE84 on December 28, 2010, 7:51 GMT

    Agree here - sad story from a real goer who I think is actually one of the top 4 bowlers in this country at the moment. I hope he gets a good break in, and is rested up for the World Cup, and that eventually he is able to push for selection again into the test team (or perhaps automatic selection if the form line continues like it is!)

    Ausindo - like ur XI the only changes i would have are Shaun March at 2 (in fair form and better long term prospect than Jaques/Katich), I would bump Haddin up to 6 and probably slot Smith at 7. I think he has a bit to like - despite being a work-in-progress he's only 21 so a good prospect. I like ur bowling line-up looks better than whats on the park currently - would have Johnson, Bollinger and Siddle as the three core quicks with Hauritz/McKay floating if its a spin friendly deck or not. Any1 else's thoughts?

    I think as many under 25s as we can get game time into now the better - the Ashes are well and truly gone.

  • anver777 on December 28, 2010, 7:49 GMT

    Aus bowling's gonna go down further in the final test without Harris........hope he recover soon before WC & IPL !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • righthandbat on December 28, 2010, 7:48 GMT

    Harris and Hilfenhaus are far better when it comes to sportsmanship compared to Siddle and Johnson. I hope Harris recovers but one feels that his career is likely to be over, with that ongoing ligament problem and his age.

    Ausindo: I think Australia really should play an unchanged side other than Harris out for Bollinger and Haddin bumped up above Smith. Sure, they have failed many times, but I don't think bringing in White, McKay and Khawaja at the moment is worth it . Katich should be given longer to recover so he can have one last season (hopefully) injury free.

    I hope Ponting declares that he will retire from test cricket in Sydney and can go out with dignity and so many go out like they did for Steve Waugh to see him one last time.

  • MaxG9 on December 28, 2010, 7:28 GMT

    Aussies have got to look for a long term test team after theAshes, such as: Katich (maybe for 2 or 3 seasons more, followed by Jacques or if he gets his technique right Hughes) plus Shaun Marsh ( or if he fails Brad Hodge or David Warner), Usman Khawaja, Michael Clarke or David Hussey or Callum Ferguson, Mike Hussey (interim Capt.), Watson (who has also to do more bowling), Tim Paine or a specialist wicket keeper (name of person said to be the best keeper in Australia eludes me at present), Hauritz or Steven O'Keefe, Johnson (if his head is fixed right), Trent Copeland & one of Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazelwood or even Peter George. Unfortunately these are too many changes to be done together so they should be phased over a period of 2 to 3 years. Alternatively bring in Cameron White as capt. & keep Watson as opener.

  • 5wombats on December 28, 2010, 7:07 GMT

    I do feel sorry for Harris. Another side of this is though that he could have been playing cricket for Australia years ago. When fit Harris would definitely be part of the future for Australia. @ausindo; no.

  • on December 28, 2010, 7:04 GMT

    i think that the australians should consider the merits of Tait bowled in short four over spells...otherwise the ausindo team looks adequate although i would add o'keefe as a spinner so that the captain can look into playing a specialist spinner if there be a need to do so.....The captains input is necessary in team selection..katich does walk across his stumps and we have seen jacques play very well

  • RamanJudge on December 28, 2010, 7:00 GMT

    Ponting was never a good leader. Make somebody else captain (maybe Haddin or Hussey) and play him as a batsman.

  • ausindo on December 28, 2010, 6:11 GMT

    Poor Harris. I hope he will get better soon. Its time to make some changes in the team. As a true Aussie, My choice for SCG test are 1.watson;2.Katich(if he is ready)/phil Jaques;3. Usman Khawaja;4.Callam Ferguson 5.Hussey (MrCricket)(Captain); 6.Cameron White; 7.Haddin; 8.McKay;9.Bollinger;10.Siddle;11.Hauritz;12.Johnson

    This team will definitely save our face in the final test .

    any comments..

  • on December 28, 2010, 6:03 GMT

    Harris or no harris...Aussies have played pathetic cricket at the MCG.

  • landl47 on December 28, 2010, 5:45 GMT

    This is very sad. Harris had bowled very well in the last two tests and also bowled well in England before he broke down. Like Tait, his body looks very strong but can't hold up under the pressure of fast bowling. I hope he manages to come back but with a knee that's already damaged it might be asking too much. A very talented bowler who hasn't had the career he deserved.

  • on December 28, 2010, 4:52 GMT

    I am hoping that Harris recovers pretty quickly from his injury and makes it to the Worldcup. best of luck mate!!!

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • on December 28, 2010, 4:52 GMT

    I am hoping that Harris recovers pretty quickly from his injury and makes it to the Worldcup. best of luck mate!!!

  • landl47 on December 28, 2010, 5:45 GMT

    This is very sad. Harris had bowled very well in the last two tests and also bowled well in England before he broke down. Like Tait, his body looks very strong but can't hold up under the pressure of fast bowling. I hope he manages to come back but with a knee that's already damaged it might be asking too much. A very talented bowler who hasn't had the career he deserved.

  • on December 28, 2010, 6:03 GMT

    Harris or no harris...Aussies have played pathetic cricket at the MCG.

  • ausindo on December 28, 2010, 6:11 GMT

    Poor Harris. I hope he will get better soon. Its time to make some changes in the team. As a true Aussie, My choice for SCG test are 1.watson;2.Katich(if he is ready)/phil Jaques;3. Usman Khawaja;4.Callam Ferguson 5.Hussey (MrCricket)(Captain); 6.Cameron White; 7.Haddin; 8.McKay;9.Bollinger;10.Siddle;11.Hauritz;12.Johnson

    This team will definitely save our face in the final test .

    any comments..

  • RamanJudge on December 28, 2010, 7:00 GMT

    Ponting was never a good leader. Make somebody else captain (maybe Haddin or Hussey) and play him as a batsman.

  • on December 28, 2010, 7:04 GMT

    i think that the australians should consider the merits of Tait bowled in short four over spells...otherwise the ausindo team looks adequate although i would add o'keefe as a spinner so that the captain can look into playing a specialist spinner if there be a need to do so.....The captains input is necessary in team selection..katich does walk across his stumps and we have seen jacques play very well

  • 5wombats on December 28, 2010, 7:07 GMT

    I do feel sorry for Harris. Another side of this is though that he could have been playing cricket for Australia years ago. When fit Harris would definitely be part of the future for Australia. @ausindo; no.

  • MaxG9 on December 28, 2010, 7:28 GMT

    Aussies have got to look for a long term test team after theAshes, such as: Katich (maybe for 2 or 3 seasons more, followed by Jacques or if he gets his technique right Hughes) plus Shaun Marsh ( or if he fails Brad Hodge or David Warner), Usman Khawaja, Michael Clarke or David Hussey or Callum Ferguson, Mike Hussey (interim Capt.), Watson (who has also to do more bowling), Tim Paine or a specialist wicket keeper (name of person said to be the best keeper in Australia eludes me at present), Hauritz or Steven O'Keefe, Johnson (if his head is fixed right), Trent Copeland & one of Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazelwood or even Peter George. Unfortunately these are too many changes to be done together so they should be phased over a period of 2 to 3 years. Alternatively bring in Cameron White as capt. & keep Watson as opener.

  • righthandbat on December 28, 2010, 7:48 GMT

    Harris and Hilfenhaus are far better when it comes to sportsmanship compared to Siddle and Johnson. I hope Harris recovers but one feels that his career is likely to be over, with that ongoing ligament problem and his age.

    Ausindo: I think Australia really should play an unchanged side other than Harris out for Bollinger and Haddin bumped up above Smith. Sure, they have failed many times, but I don't think bringing in White, McKay and Khawaja at the moment is worth it . Katich should be given longer to recover so he can have one last season (hopefully) injury free.

    I hope Ponting declares that he will retire from test cricket in Sydney and can go out with dignity and so many go out like they did for Steve Waugh to see him one last time.

  • anver777 on December 28, 2010, 7:49 GMT

    Aus bowling's gonna go down further in the final test without Harris........hope he recover soon before WC & IPL !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!