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Surrey CCC skipper Graeme Smith has returned to South Africa for surgery on an ankle injury.

The 32-year-old joined Surrey as captain in the summer, and has presided over three County Championship Division One draws and a YB40 win.

How long Smith will be out is unknown although the club state it will be a “few month”.

Smith said: “To have to head home so early in my time at Surrey is very frustrating.

“I leave the team in a good place and hope to be back with them as soon as possible.”

The left-handed batsman, who has averaged 24 in the championship, puts the injury down to his winter season with the South African test side.

Surrey team director Chris Adams said: “Graeme has made an impressive start as a leader and the squad have really responded to his leadership.

“It’s clearly disappointing for all, especially Graeme, but we wish him a speedy recovery.”

Smith is unlikely to return to the Kia Oval before the end of June as he was signed up to play for South Africa in the Champions Trophy, which ends on June 23.