SYDNEY: Australian captain Ricky Ponting Thursday said he was "devastated" after being ruled out from the fifth Ashes Test due to a broken finger.
Ponting suffered the injury during the Perth Test but the x-ray reports after the Melbourne game revealed that the under-fire captain aggravated the injury. Michael Clarke will captain the side in his absence.
"I am devastated to tell you the truth, it was the news I was dreading," Ponting told reporters here.
"During the game, I did not think I had aggravated."
Australian team physio therapist Alex Kountouris, however, said that Ponting is expected to be fully fit by the time cricket World Cup kicks off in February in the Indian sub-continent.
"Ricky Ponting had a repeat x-ray after the fourth Test which showed evidence that the fracture of his fifth finger has moved during the course of the Melbourne Test," Kountouris said.
"He needs to commence treatment immediately to achieve a satisfactory outcome. The treatment options include surgery or aggressive splinting and immobilisation of the injured finger. A decision on the treatment option will be made in the next 24 hours after further consultation with the hand specialist."
"His return to cricket will be based on how quickly the fracture heals and he will hopefully commence training in the later part of the Australian summer. He is expected to be fully fit for the ICC Cricket World Cup," Kountouris added.
Ponting and his team have drawn severe criticism from the fans and the Australian media alike after the team’s defeat by England in the Melbourne Test by an innings and 157 runs. The defeat means England retain the coveted Ashes on Australian soil after 24 years. (PTI)