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Cricket news 2021: Australian Test captain Tim Paine to undergo neck surgery

Australian Test captain Tim Paine will undergo neck surgery this week, which is expected keep the wicketkeeper sidelined for a while.

Cricket Australia has confirmed Test captain Tim Paine will undergo neck surgery on Tuesday, which is expected to keep the 36-year-old sidelined for several weeks.

As first revealed by The Australian, Paine has been unable to train in recent weeks due to restricted movement in his spine that has caused major discomfort.

On Tuesday afternoon, CA released a statement revealing the wicketkeeper will be put under the knife the next day to repair a pinched nerve in his neck.

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Doctors are confident Paine will resume light training later this month, but he is not expected to be match-ready until early November.

“Paine had been suffering pain in his neck and left arm due to a bulging disc which reduced his ability to train at full intensity and has not responded to treatment,” the statement read.

“He consulted a spinal surgeon in Hobart late last week. The surgeon recommended the surgery to relieve the pressure on the nerve and allow Paine time to return to training later this month.”

Paine will subsequently miss the start of Tasmania’s domestic campaign, which was pushed back in response to the latest Covid-19 outbreak.

Tasmania is scheduled face reigning champions Queensland for its first Sheffield Shield match of the 2021/22 season on Tuesday, September 28.

Paine said it was necessary to have the surgery now to ensure he was fully prepared for the upcoming international summer of cricket, which includes a highly-anticipated Ashes series.

“I expect to be able to restart physical activity by the end of this month and be back in full training in October,” Paine said.

“I will be ready to go by the first Test and am very much looking forward to what will be a huge summer.”

Paine has represented Australia in 35 Test matches since making his debut in 2009, leading the national side since 2018.

The Tasmanian had previously required seven rounds of surgery to repair a finger injury that threatened to derail his career.

The historic Test match between Australia and Afghanistan is scheduled to commence in Hobart on Saturday, November 27, but the fixture remains in doubt following CA’s hard line response to reports the Taliban will ban women from playing sport.

CA claimed it would have “no alternative” but to scrap the one-off Test match if the worrying reports were accurate.

“Driving the growth of women’s cricket globally is incredibly important to Cricket Australia. Our vision for cricket is that it is a sport for all and we support the game unequivocally for women at every level,” the statement read.

“If recent media reports that women’s cricket will not be supported in Afghanistan are substantiated, Cricket Australia would have no alternative but to not host Afghanistan for the proposed Test Match due to be played in Hobart.

“We thank the Australian and Tasmanian Governments for their support on this important issue.”

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