Reports of Ryan Harris’s demise premature

IF THERE is one thing Australian fast bowler Ryan Harris has displayed in recent months, apart from the fact he has the heart of a lion, it is that he is no quitter.

So suggestions his latest bout of knee surgery in Melbourne this week, in which chunks of floating bone and cartilage were scraped out, could be the end of his career, were met with mirth by the 34 year-old paceman who has already targeted his comeback to coincide with Australia's away series against Pakistan in October.

"I've heard that a few times," smiled Harris, who followed his 22 Ashes wickets in the 5-0 drubbing of England with another impressive haul in Australia's recent 2-1 Test series victory over world number one South Africa.

"I'm nowhere near my career being over. I did this (surgery) to prolong it (career) more than anything.

"It's been done, cleaned out, which is what I've been waiting for.

"I told my surgeon to keep me on the park for another two or three years. I just want to do whatever I can to keep playing in this team and enjoy the success we've worked so hard to get." Ironically, Harris's troublesome right knee locked up so badly when he got off the plane from South Africa he couldn't have bowled this week.

"It was really quite painful when I got back home but it feels good now," he told reporters at his Melbourne hospital yesterday.

NOT FINISHED YET: Ryan Harris celebrates as he takes the last wicket of Morne Morkel to win the final Test in Cape Town.
NOT FINISHED YET: Ryan Harris celebrates as he takes the last wicket of Morne Morkel to win the final Test in Cape Town. GETTY IMAGES


Even his surgeon, David Young said he was surprised by the size of the cartilage floating around inside the big Queenslander's knee as he bowled for his country in great pain.

Harris, who dispelled any doubts about his ability to back-up by playing the last 12 Tests in a row, said he had plenty of time to get over his surgery.

"My knee is damaged, probably more damaged than the last time they went in, but it's still a good knee," he said after hobbling to the press conference yesterday on crutches.


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