Murali ruled out of action for five months

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Muttiah Muralitharan has been ruled out of action for the next five months.

Updated: February 25, 2007 10:08 IST
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Muttiah Muralitharan's position as the world's highest Test wicket taker is under threat as the Sri Lankan off-spinner will not be able to take to the field for the next five months following an operation on his right shoulder. Muralitharan, who has so far claimed 532 Test scalps in 91 matches, was successfully operated on his bowling shoulder last night at Melbourne and would need at least five months' rest to recover, Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported today. The ace off-spinner claimed five wickets in the first Test against South Africa last month to take a sole lead in the wicket takers' list but had to opt out of the second Test complaining of shoulder pain. The 32-year-old bowler will stay in Melbourne for the next two weeks for observation before returning to Sri Lanka. With Muralitharan under rehabilitation, Australian leg-spinner Shane Warne, who has 527 wickets, will have a great chance to regain the top spot. (PTI)

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