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    England bowler Graeme Swann has successful elbow operation

    Swann, a 50-Test veteran, had to pull out of the squad to face New Zealand on the eve of the first Test in Dunedin.

    London: England off-spinner Graeme Swann has had successful surgery on his troublesome right elbow and will now start a rehabilitation programme, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) said in a statement on Thursday. Swann, a 50-Test veteran, had to pull out of the squad to face New Zealand on the eve of the first Test in Dunedin this month so he could fly to the United States for the operation.

    The 33-year-old will hope to be fit when England host New Zealand in May and June before the one-day Champions Trophy and then back-to-back Ashes series against Australia.

    "(Swann) has undergone an uncomplicated operation on his right elbow to excise excess bone formation that had re-accumulated following his previous operation (on the same elbow) four years ago. Swann will now start a six-eight week rehabilitation and back to bowling programme before returning to competitive cricket early in the summer," said the ECB statement.

    The elbow had caused Swann problems since his first surgery but it flared up again in England's four-day match against a New Zealand XI in Queenstown. He had scans on arrival in Dunedin and the results, having been seen by the specialist in the United States, confirmed he would need the procedure to "clean up" floating bone fragments in the joint.

    "It is a huge year for English cricket and a huge year for me but if this means I take a more active part in it, so it's something I have to do," he had said before leaving New Zealand.