TheEngland offspinner Graeme Swann faces up to two months' rehabilitation after surgery on his injured right elbow, raising hopes he will be fit for this year's Ashes double-header.
Swann, 33, was forced out of England's tour of New Zealand earlier this month after a longstanding problem with his elbow flared, requiring surgery in the United States.
The England and Wales Cricket Board says Swann had undergone an uncomplicated operation on the elbow, which had a build-up of excess bone after an operation four years ago.
It says Swann will now commence a six-to-eight week rehabilitation and back-to-bowling program before returning to competitive cricket early in the northern summer.
Two editions of the Ashes series against Australia are being played back-to-back this year to avoid a clash with the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England.
The first match is on July 10 at Trent Bridge.
Swann has earned 50 test caps in a career that includes two victorious Ashes series, with the spinner playing a key role both times.