Cape Town:Fast bowler Brett Lee will miss Kings XI Punjab's opening matches in the Indian Premier League despite being withdrawn from the Australia ODI squad to play Pakistan in Dubai.
Australian medical staff decided Wednesday that Lee "is not yet fit enough to resume international cricket" and will stay in South Africa, where he has been recovering from ankle surgery with his IPL franchise.
Punjab physiotherapist Pat Farhat, who is from Lee's state team New South Wales, has been supervising his rehabilitation and will continue to liaise with his Australian counterpart Alex Kountouris.
Lee is expected to increase his bowling workload over the coming weeks in the hope of catching the back end of the Pakistan series, but this will not involve playing for the Mohali franchise.
"He won't be playing in the IPL," Cricket Australia spokesman Philip Pope confirmed to AFP.
"If he's fit to play cricket, he'll be playing for Australia."
Regardless of whether he plays in Dubai, it seems the earliest Lee could represent Kings XI is May 9, when they are scheduled to take on the Deccan Chargers in Kimberley.
That leaves the Yuvraj Singh-led side short on fast bowling talent with injury ruling India's Shanthakumaran Sreesanth and the West Indian Jerome Taylor out of the Twenty20 tournament.
Local left-armer Yusuf Abdulla was drafted in to back up all-rounder Irfan Pathan following Taylor's withdrawal, and should provide value with his knowledge of South African conditions.
The only other fast bowlers on the Punjab books are little-known New South Welshman Burt Cockley and 24-year-old VRV Singh, neither of whom are out-and-out pacemen.