Shaun Tait will have surgery on his right elbow on Tuesday, leaving him with only a 50-50 chance of playing in the Twenty20 World Championship in September. However, he is expected to be available for Australia's next Test series, against Sri Lanka in November.
A soft-tissue problem forced Tait to play through most of 2006-07 with his elbow strapped and Australia hoped that a rest after the World Cup would allow the injury to heal naturally. Last week Tait had scans that revealed he would need further medical attention.
"Shaun Tait is undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his right elbow on Tuesday to relieve soft-tissue impingement," Alex Kountouris, Australia's physiotherapist, said. "We are hoping he will be back bowling by mid-August. This would leave him with a 50-50 chance of playing in the Twenty20 World Championship in South Africa."
Other body parts have sidelined Tait already during his short international career, including a shoulder injury in 2005 and a hamstring problem last December. Tait made his ODI debut during the CB Series and was one of Australia's stars at the World Cup where he took 23 wickets at 20.3, making him equal second on the competition's bowling tally.
If Tait does miss the Twenty20 tournament Australia might be able to make a fast-bowling swap, with Brett Lee confident he will be fit by September. Lee seriously injured his ankle before the Chappell-Hadlee series in February and the damage kept him out of the team's World Cup triumph.