Melbourne, Dec 4 : Australian leg spinner Stuart MacGill will be operated on his right hand and is certain to miss the first two Tests of the three match series against India.
Cricket Australia's Medical Officer, Dr Trefor James, examined MacGill in Melbourne and confirmed that an operation is necessary.
"Stuart MacGill will undergo surgery in Sydney on Thursday for carpal tunnel syndrome in the right hand, a common problem that causes hand numbness," Dr James said.
"Although MacGill has had mild symptoms for several months it only began to affect his bowling during the three match Test series against Sri Lanka," Dr James added.
"The surgery is expected to keep MacGill out of cricket for four-six weeks, so it is unlikely he will be available for selection for the Melbourne or the Sydney Test matches against India," Dr James said.
Foxsports.com.au reported that absence of MacGill opened a vacancy in the Australian attack, with fellow spinner Brad Hog and paceman Shaun Tait thought to be the front runners.
"I feel like I'm bowling the best I've ever bowled, but it's just one of those things, if you get the nod you get the nod,'' said Hogg.
MacGill could return for the third and final Test against India in Perth, but his place in the team had been uncertain after an uninspiring series against Sri Lanka last month.
Recently, MacGill has been criticised for lack of fitness before the series against Sri Lanka, but he later complained that he could not properly grip the ball.
Dr James said that there was no other surgery planned for MacGill, who has also been affected by a degenerative knee condition.
Australian opener Matthew Hayden offered moral support, saying it would have been tough for MacGill to serve most of his career as Shane Warne's understudy, then be dogged by injury. (ANI)
© 2007 ANI