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Batsman Ian Bell has undergone surgery on his right foot after further examination has revealed a ligament tear in his toe.

Bell, 36, returned to Edgbaston two weeks ago after being hit on the foot in training for Islamabad United in the Pakistan Super League, which ruled him out of the Bears pre-season tour in the United Arab Emirates.

The surgery is expected to require up to three months recovery time, although First Team Coach Jim Troughton is optimistic Bell could return sooner.

“Once the surgery is completed Ian will immediately start his rehabilitation programme,” Troughton said.

“There are always unknowns with surgery, but Ian has always kept his fitness at the top level throughout his career.

“We have an excellent medical team at Edgbaston, who will support Ian throughout the whole process, and we’re hopeful that Ian can join the Bears on the field sooner rather than later.”