Australia paceman Brett Lee has undergone elbow surgery in an attempt to place his faltering international career back on track.
The 33-year-old underwent the procedure to correct a damaged ligament in his right elbow after it caused him to break down twice in the space of just three weeks.
Lee initially suffered the problem in the first of Australia's seven one-day international matches against India in Vadodara on October 25.
He could only bowl six of a possible 10 overs in that match and on November 15 he aggravated the elbow again bowling for New South Wales in the Ford Ranger Cup.
The setback was the latest in a difficult year for Lee, who was unable to tour South Africa or feature in the unsuccessful Ashes campaign in England because of an ankle injury.
He came back, however, with a fine display as Australia thrashed England 6-1 in the subsequent NatWest Series in September - Lee's haul of 12 making him the series' leading wicket-taker.
But the latest setback means he will likely not be able to represent his country again until their tour of New Zealand in late March.
"He will be required to use an elbow brace for a period of approximately six weeks and then commence more intensive rehabilitation," Cricket Australia medical officer Dr Trefor James said.
"His return to bowling will be determined in due course as he is regularly assessed by the surgeon and Cricket Australia's medical staff."
Lee has taken 310 Test wickets in 76 matches at 30.81 and 324 ODI scalps in 186 appearances at 23.01.
The 2008 Allan Border Medallist has also taken 17 Twenty20 International wickets in 17 games at 26.70.