‘We don’t know for sure’: Smith World Cup fears remain
The time frame on Steve Smith's return to cricket remains unclear, adding to fears the star batsman won't be fit in time for the Cricket World Cup.
Smith had surgery on his elbow last month after suffering an injury playing in the Bangladesh Premier League.
His management reported the surgery - which will keep him in a brace for six weeks - was a success. Nonetheless, there are still no guarantees on when he will be able to return to the field, his manager told cricket.com.au.
"Until the brace comes off we don't know for sure, but all current opinion is that he'll then have about three and a half weeks (before being ready to play)," Warren Craig of Turning Point Management told the publication.
Smith is still yet to rule out being fit to participate in the Indian Premier League when his ball-tampering suspension ends on March 29.
Craig said: "The intent is that he will play in the IPL and then the World Cup and then the Ashes."
That rules out the possibility of Smith playing in Australia's final two matches of a five-ODI series against Pakistan in the UAE, which are expected to be scheduled after March 29.
Smith's brace is not scheduled to be removed until late February, making the best case scenario for his return as mid-late March.
David Warner is also battling a shoulder injury, but his setback is considered relatively minor.