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Smith faces a six-week spell with his arm in a brace, following the operation to repair ligaments in his right elbow, followed by an extensive period of rehabilitation
Steve Smith's dream of a World Cup return for Australia could be in jeopardy after scans determined that the former national captain requires surgery on an elbow injury.
Smith, whose one-year ban for his part in the ball-tampering scandal expires in April, had seemed certain to force his way back into the Aussie side for the quadrennial jamboree, which begins in England on May 30.
However, he now faces a six-week spell with his arm in a brace, following the operation to repair ligaments in his right elbow, followed by an extensive period of rehabilitation.
No timeframe has been formally put on his recovery process by Australian officials but there will be some concern that he will not be fit enough to be picked for the World Cup.
Smith had been struggling to throw a ball during practice sessions with his Bangladesh Premier League team Comilla Victorians in recent days and an MRI scan in the south Asian country proved inconclusive.
He subsequently flew back to Australia on Friday for further tests, which indicated that surgery is necessary.