Melbourne: Australian cricket team physiotherapist Alex Kountouris has said no decision had been made on whether Western Australian pace Mitchell Johnson should or should not undergo season-ending surgery on his injured toe.
Johnson, 30, was not considered for Thursday`s first Test against New Zealand at the Gabba owing to the piece of metal that was found in his left big toe.
It has caused heavy swelling and could require surgery, but the Sydney Morning Herald quoted Kountouris, as saying: "There`s more tests to be done and more specialists to consult. He`s got an unusual injury, so it`s something we need to have a careful think about. But I can tell you now he`s not definitely having surgery."
Fitness aside, Johnson faces a challenge to re-assert himself in the Australian attack having taken only 13 wickets at an average of 57 this year. In his absence, as well as that of Ryan Harris and Patrick Cummins, selectors have ushered in James Pattinson, Ben Cutting and Mitchell Starc.
Former Australian bowling coach Troy Cooley, now head coach at the Centre of Excellence in Brisbane, says Johnson should not be written off.
"He`s a tough competitor; he will find a way back. He was definitely trying stuff [in South Africa]. He was trying to get some more control at the time and he took it on." said Cooley.