Australian fast bowler Brett Lee is "gutted" by his latest injury which ruled him out of the Twenty20 World Cup but it is unlikely to end his international career, Cricket Australia's physiotherapist said.
Lee suffered a right arm muscle strain during Australia's loss to Zimbabwe on Tuesday in a T20 World Cup warm-up match but team physiotherapist Alex Kountouris said the injury was unrelated to the career-threatening surgery on the same arm last year that precipitated his retirement from Test cricket.
A dejected Lee, who has replaced by Ryan Harris in the Australian squad, flew out of St Lucia and will consult a specialist when he reaches Sydney.
"He was very disappointed - gutted. In the last 12 months he has hardly played and he has had four different injuries. He had ankle surgery early last year, he had that side strain in England, and then he got that elbow injury after that. One is sort of a consequence of another," Kountouris said.
He said Lee could be back to bowling within five weeks, opening the door for him to play for Australia in their One-day series tour of England in June.
"It's serious enough to send him home, but I think as a long-term injury it shouldn't be that serious. It's basically a strain on his forearm muscle just on the inside of his elbow. His long-term future is not the problem, he is going to miss this tournament which is a big tournament," Kountouris was quoted as saying by Herald Sun.
"It could take weeks. If it's still sore in a week's time it might take five weeks for him to comeback. If he wants to come back from this he can. If he wants to rehab it, he'll be fine. In 12 months from now, he's not going to have an issue," he added.
Kountouris said it was an unusual injury and the frustrating thing for Lee was that it came in his very last over in the warm-up match.
"It was fine during the game and he said in his last over, third or fourth ball, he got really sore. It's a bit of an unusual injury. We don't see a lot of them.
"The issue now is whether Lee can summon the mental strength for yet another comeback for a body that keeps asking: when is enough enough? It's whether he wants to keep doing it and so far he has. He has been motivated."