Injured Katich avoids surgery, eyes Ashes

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Simon Katich, who fractured his thumb during the tour of India, has decided against immediate surgery to make himself available for the Ashes series.

Updated: October 26, 2010 14:38 IST
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Opening batsman Simon Katich, who fractured his thumb during Australia's recent tour of India, has decided against immediate surgery to make himself available for next month's Ashes duty.

Scans have revealed a fracture and ligament damage, but the batsman is hoping to be fit before the first Ashes Test in Brisbane from November 25.

"The specialist said there was no point having surgery because I'd be out for some time so we just have to see how it settles down," Katich told the 'Australian'.

"It definitely hindered me during the first Test in Mohali. I felt like I was batting one-handed. It felt better in the second Test but the big problem was it affected my preparation. I had to stop hitting balls," he added.

Katich has enjoyed a rich form since his return as an opener two and a half years ago as he has scored 2,831 runs in 31 Tests at an average of 52.48.

Meanwhile, Australia fast bowler Mitchell Johnson said he wants to make up for his poor performance in the last Ashes and is eyeing to encash on the home advantage this time around.

"Over there I definitely built it up in my mind. It was a huge deal for me, like any young guy coming through. But look, I think I've learned that lesson now.

"I've experienced that and now I've adjusted to the pressures of, I guess, being a leader of the attack as well. So I'm looking forward to this series, it's something I'm very excited about," Johnson was quoted as saying by the 'The Guardian'.

He also made it clear that they are thinking about nothing but wrest the urn from England.

"We want to win, that's for sure. We want to win the series and we're in our backyard now, we've got the wickets that we enjoy. There's been a lot of talk already, that build-up started pretty early on, so we're all ready and keen to go," Johnson said.

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