As Australia grapples with Brett Lee's form slump and fitness woes, former captain Bill Lawry suggests that the only way to save the pace spearhead's career is to keep him off cricket for a while.
Lawry said the sight of Lee struggling for wickets dismayed him. He said the charismatic bowler has lost too much weight which has hit his pace.
"He is just too thin. He's lost too much weight and he looks like he needs a rest to recovery from the viral attack," Lawry was quoted as saying by The Herald Sun.
"If he keeps going he will risk being of no use to himself or Australia and that could be the end of him," he warned.
"For his sake, it may be time for the selectors to just tell him to go away, not to play in the next Test, or for New South Wales or for anyone until he has regained weight and his strength, and is fit and keen and a weapon again."
Lee, who is also battling a sore foot that forced him to stay away from the field today in the ongoing second Test against South Africa, has given 200 runs for just one wicket in the series so far.
"Maybe he should be rested for the remainder of this series, even the tour of South Africa, if they really want him fit and firing for the Ashes series in England," Lawry suggested.
Lawry said Lee has looked a tormented man in the series against South Africa so far and a break would help him rejuvenate.
"He's in trouble. It's not that he is not trying. He is busting a gut and that's the problem," Lawry said.
"He isn't physically robust enough to be at his best and he is running himself into the ground while the opposition knows he is not the bowler he was.