Durban:Desperate to play against Australia in next month's home Tests, South African captain Graeme Smith says he is planning to put off his elbow surgery until after the series.
"It is really a matter of resting it and then finding a window of eight to 12 weeks so that I can have surgery. In the meantime we will just be treating it and keeping it manageable," the left-hander said on return from Australia.
Smith fractured his left hand and battled a chronic tennis elbow injury during the just-concluded away Test series against Australia which the Proteas won 2-1.
Smith shone through the pain to win the Man of the Series award for scoring 326 runs during the three matches.
He was also applauded for coming out to bat on the final day of the third Test despite the broken hand, although he could not prevent the Aussies from notching a consolation win.
And keen to lead during the three-match home series, Smith said he would continue to rely on the current treatment which requires his own blood to be injected into his elbow.
"Australia are hurting and they are going to come back hard at us. We know that with Australia you have to earn every inch and I think they have a lot of respect for us now.
"I am really looking forward to being involved in the Test series back home," he said.