Knee problem rules Vaughan out of Ashes series
LONDON, July 6 (Reuters) England captain Michael Vaughan has been ruled out of the Ashes series in Australia later this year, media reports said today.
Vaughan, who has not played for England since returning home early from the tour of India in February, had a fourth operation on his right knee on Monday.
The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) is due to issue a full statement on the Yorkshire batsman later on Thursday.
News of Vaughan's operation came last week from the ECB, who added that he would be out of action for between four and six months.
He also misses the home series against Pakistan, which starts next week.
Peter Gregory, the ECB's chief medical officer, said in a statement last week: ''Michael worked extremely hard with the support of the Yorkshire medical staff to strengthen the knee to the point where he was able to begin playing again.
''However, he has still been experiencing some discomfort and further surgery is necessary if he is to regain the level of fitness required for international cricket.
''Our priority now is to safeguard Michael's long-term interests and ensure he can resume his playing career.'' Vaughan last had surgery on his knee in December and made his comeback for Yorkshire at the end of May. But soreness in the joint prevented him from fielding in a match against Sussex last week.
England begin their defence of the Ashes at the first test in Brisbane starting on November 23 with all rounder Andrew Flintoff expected to be named skipper for the five-match series in Vaughan's absence.
REUTERS PDS BST1458