Brett Lee is confident he will be fit for the Ashes after coming through his first game since surgery free of pain. Lee was "over the moon" after the Twenty20 against Pakistan on Thursday and before leaving for the IPL in South Africa he set his sights on the opening Ashes Test on July 8.
"I would love to be running in taking that brand-new ball for Australia first-up in Cardiff and getting the ball flying through to 'Hadds' [Brad Haddin]," Lee said in the Sydney Morning Herald. "So that's my aim and that's what I'll be working towards."
Lee had foot and ankle surgery at the start of the year and will use the next two weeks in South Africa to prepare for the Twenty20 World Cup. By then he will know whether he is part of the Ashes squad, with the line-up due to be named before the team camp on May 24.
"I'm confident with my ankle that I can hopefully do a good job for Australia," he said. Lee delivered four overs in Dubai on Thursday, taking 1 for 22, and almost had a wicket first ball, but the sharp chance was missed by Marcus North at first slip.
"I was just happy to get it on a good length," he said. "It got nicked and unfortunately it went down but that's cricket. I was happy with the way I bowled it.
"I wasn't even sure I'd be reaching 140[kph]. Once that first ball was bowled it's amazing how quickly you get back into the rhythm, and you've bowled your first over and you think: 'Well, I haven't really been away."'
Lee would have preferred an Australian victory - they lost by seven wickets - but he was happy with his progress. "The biggest thing I could have got out of this game was to get through the four overs, walk off the field with no pain in the ankle and be happy with the way I bowled," he told AAP. "Yes, that's happened, I'm over the moon.''