Australian Test skipper Tim Paine will undergo surgery on his neck in a bid to be fit for the Ashes series against England starting in December. Cricket Australia released a statement on Monday saying the procedure will take place this week and the 36-year-old wicketkeeper is likely to be back at training in October.

“The consensus of the spinal surgeon and the Cricket Australia medical team was to have the surgery now which will allow plenty of time to fully prepare for the summer,” Paine said in a statement. “I will be ready to go by the first Test.”

Also read: Will always remember Virat Kohli, the best batsman in world: Tim Paine

The Ashes, arguably the most prestigious Test series in the game's history, is played between England and Australia every year. This year, the battle between the two giants is scheduled to start on December 8. 

Paine’s training has been affected by pain in his neck and left arm caused by a bulging disc. Paine won't be part of Australia's squad for the Twenty20 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates starting next month and his focus is on the test format.

Also read: Head coach Ravi Shastri, coaching staff may leave UK on Wednesday

The Australians haven't played a test match since a series loss at home to India in January.

A match against Afghanistan in Hobart scheduled to start November 27 has been in doubt since the Taliban resumed control of that country.

Several English players have expressed concerns about quarantine and travel restrictions during the coronavirus pandemic and that has led to some uncertainty about the tour. Talismanic pacer James Anderson recently, as per reports, said that his family won’t be travelling with him to Australia as his children will have to be present in England for their education.

With inputs from the Associated Press