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Lee suffers injury setback

More misery for Australia as paceman look set to miss third Test

Lee: Injury doubt

Australia have confirmed that opening bowler Brett Lee is a major doubt for the third Test against South Africa in Sydney after sustaining a foot injury.

Scans have shown that Lee, who didn't take the field on day three of the second Test in Melbourne, is on the verge of suffering a stress fracture in his left foot, but he may still bowl again in the ongoing match.

The injury is another setback for Lee - who has series figures of 1-200 against South Africa and has taken only 21 wickets at 45.5 since the start of Australia's unsuccessful series in India.

And team physio Alex Kountouris reported it is "inevitable" Lee will need to be rested for the SCG Test match.

"I don't think he'll be able to play the Sydney Test. We'll wait and reassess at the end of the game," he said.

"If he's got what we think he's got - and it's been confirmed by scans that he's got a stress fracture brewing - we're going to rest him for a period of time to get it to settle."

Pain

Lee will, however, be given every chance to bowl in the second innings at the MCG.

"Short-term future is we're going to try and get him to bowl in the second innings," Kountouris added.

"We're doing everything we can to settle it down, have one good go at it in the second innings. He might bowl one ball; he might bowl 10 overs or 15 overs."

Kountouris admits there is a risk Lee, who will not be given painkillers to see out the match, could end up breaking the bone should he bowl in the second innings.

"But in some people's opinion that might be a better scenario, because the bone heals better," he said.

"If you have a tiny crack it can take a long time for it to heal. That's not what we're aiming for, but there is a risk of that happening. Pain will guide us to where he is.

"There was so much pain he couldn't bowl today; he wouldn't bowl if he was in the same pain the second innings."