Australian skipper Ricky Ponting believes that fast bowler Brett Lee could play a crucial role in his team during next year's World Cup in the Indian sub-continent.
Lee has not played any ODI for Australia since October last year, but returned successfully to state cricket last week by taking two wickets against Western Australia.
"Let's hope he (Lee) is ready to go. He could be a big player for us in the World Cup provided his body holds up between now and then," Fox Sports quoted Ponting, as saying.
"Brett, Shaun Tait and Mitchell Johnson together could be key bowlers in those sub-continental conditions," he added.
Ponting further said that he is not worried by how long Lee had spent away from the game.
"Brett has always looked after his body well. I know he will be fit and strong. He was last time he came back after a layoff, but unfortunately another part of his body gave way. Still, it will be a big effort," Ponting said.
Earlier, Lee had said that his main goal is to be selected in the national squad for the World Cup.
"With my love for India and love for the Indian culture, the chance to play over there -- World Cup, 50-over cricket -- it's the cream of the crop as far as one-day cricket tournaments go," Lee had said.
"It would be great to be a part of that. That's what I'm aiming at -- definitely," he added.
Lee's career has been plagued by fitness problems, ranging from a side strain and elbow surgery to a broken thumb and a forearm injury.