Ex-Australia captain Steve Smith will have elbow surgery and may not be fit to make his worldwide return from a 12-month ban at the end of March.
Steve Smith was asked to return home from Bangladesh where he was playing in Bangladesh Premier League after he felt discomfort while batting.
Cricket Australia revealed Smith is set to undergo surgery on January 15, and is expected to be in a brace for around six weeks, followed by a period of rehabilitation.
The injury flared up when Smith was captaining his BPL side for the first two games and was seen with heavy strapping over the irritated area. He had an MRI test here but the result was not very clear.
Smith and David Warner - whose ban also ends on March 28 - received year-long suspensions for the roles they played in the plot to alter the condition of the ball in Cape Town last March, with opening batsman Cameron Bancroft slapped with a nine-month punishment.
Smith was due to play in the Pakistan Super League in February and March and then for Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League, which is due to begin on March 23.
At the Bangladesh Premier League, Steve Smith managed scores of 16 and 0 for Comilla Victorians.