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

Stress fracture leaves Harris needing surgery


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

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

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

  • Dummy4 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.

  • Dummy4 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.

  • John 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.

  • Dummy4 on December 29, 2010, 1:09 GMT

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

  • Craig 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.

  • Mohan 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.

  • Finn 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.

  • Chris 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.

  • Dummy4 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.

  • No featured comments at the moment.