Paine on track to return
Australia captain Tim Paine says his neck surgery was a success and he is extremely confident of being ready for the start of the Ashes series.
The Aussies are priced at 1.28 to win the Ashes and Paine insists he will be fit and ready to lead the side when hostilities begin on 8th December.
The 36-year-old had been suffering with a bulging disc that was causing pain in his neck and left arm and the decision was taken to get it operated on.
Paine insists it was the right call and after undergoing the surgery this week the rehabilitation process has begun ahead of the Ashes.
"It was sort of getting to that touch and go stage where I either don't get it done and take the risk that I'd be right through the Ashes, or get it fixed now," Paine told SEN.
"Pretty happy with the decision after the surgeon had a look in there. 8th December is the first Test and I'm extremely confident I'd be right to go before then.
"I'll hopefully get a Shield game in for Tassie before then and hopefully be on the winning end of a third winning Ashes would be something really special."
Paine is also keen to carry on playing some form of cricket for as long as possible and says the operation should increase his chances of doing so.
"I want to keep playing for Tasmania after my international career," Paine added. "To have it fixed and out of the way was the correct decision long term.
"I've had plenty of doubters my whole career so it's something that I'm used to, that's alright, I'll use it as motivation to get back out."