Wellington - England off-spinner Graeme Swann faces up to two months' rehabilitation after surgery on his injured elbow, officials said Friday, raising hopes he will be fit for this year's Ashes double-header.
Swann was forced out of England's current tour of New Zealand earlier this month after a longstanding problem with his right elbow flared, requiring surgery in the United States.
The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) said Swann had undergone "an uncomplicated operation" on the elbow, which had a build-up of excess bone after an operation four years ago.
"Swann will now commence a six-to-eight week rehabilitation and back-to-bowling programme before returning to competitive cricket early in the (northern) summer," it said in a statement.
Two editions of the Ashes series against Australia are being played back-to-back this year to avoid a clash with the 2015 World Cup, with the first beginning on July 10.
Swann, 33, has earned 50 Test caps in a career that includes two victorious Ashes series, with the spinner playing a key role both times.
"It would be a massive pain in the backside if my wonky elbow forced me to miss any of the Tests against Australia," he wrote in a newspaper column this month.