1. Peter Bearne

Graeme Swann needs second elbow operation

It's a race against time for Graeme Swann Credit: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

Nottinghamshire and England spinner Graeme Swann is in a race against time to be fit for the Ashes this summer. Swann today found out he will need a second operation on a long-term elbow injury.

It means he will play no part in England's three-match test series against New Zealand which began yesterday. The 33-year-old bowler will fly to the USA next week for the career-saving surgery.

The hope is that he will be recovered by early summer in time to play a part in England's year of back-to-back test series against Australia.

Swann, who had a similar operation four years ago, said: "It's a huge year for English cricket and a huge year for me, so if it means taking a more active part in it then it's something I have to do. I know if I don't have the surgery it's more or less curtains."