Paine declares he’ll be fit for Ashes after successful surgery

Inspiration from former rugby league and Wallabies star Mat Rogers prompted Tim Paine to have neck surgery and after a successful procedure, the Test captain says he will be fit for the Ashes.

Paine underwent surgery to repair a bulging disc this week and said on Friday he could be back playing for Tasmania in seven weeks and be ready for the Ashes in early December.

The first Test of the summer is scheduled for Paine’s home city of Hobart against Afghanistan from late November but given the recent Taliban take over of the country and their repressive attitude to women’s sport, the Test is unlikely to go ahead.

Surgeons cut a hole in his throat to repair disc damage which had been causing pain down his left side, preventing the gloveman from training properly.

Paine spoke to Rogers and recently retired Melbourne AFL captain Nathan Jones.

“Mat Rogers played an NRL game in six weeks. Nathan Jones had it done after his last round game and started training fully day one of pre-season,” Paine said Friday on SEN radio.

Code hoppers: Mat Rogers with Wendell Sailor and Lote Tuqiri.Credit:Tim Clayton

“The precedent has been set, guys have got back from it reasonably quickly. We’ve been talking to all those players, their physios, their surgeons to track their rehab plans and get me back as quick as we can.

“As soon as this six-week block is over I’ll be good to go. I’m pretty confident outside of that six weeks I’ll be ready to go within a week. That gives me plenty of time (for the Ashes). I won’t be as fit or as strong as I’d like to be. If I am moving freely, I’ll give a good fist of it.”

Paine claimed his surgeon recommended the surgery for his playing career and beyond.

“I had the bugling disc pressing on my spine, I was having some pain down the left side of my body,” he said.

“It was that touch-and-go stage, where I don’t get it done and take the risk I’ll be right for the Ashes or get it done now and make sure I am.

Tim Paine and Will Pucovski at training in Sydney earlier this year.Credit:Getty

“I’m pretty happy with the decision. After the surgeon had a look in there, he said it was a good decision to get it done.

“They moved my voice box to the side and got in that way. It’s less invasive, safer,” he said.

“They put the new disc in, stitched them up and away we go. I feel like my range is already better and I just have to now make sure the cut heals and give the disc time to take to my spine over the next month or so, then get moving.

“The most important thing in the first two weeks is the healing itself. I need it to take with the bone that is there.

“It’s a slow process, I’ll be walking over the next couple of weeks, doing a lot of little neck physio movements. It’s a see how we go from there.

“I know I will be dealing with physios for the next six weeks before I start my cricket rehab.

“I want to keep playing for Tasmania after my international career. To have it fixed and out of the way was the correct decision long term.”

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