Sussex will sign a replacement for Mushtaq Ahmed even if his second knee operation of the season only keeps him out for a month.

The 38-year-old will have surgery on Monday to repair a torn ligament in his right knee, the same operation he had in May.

The best-case scenario is that he is out until August 6, when Sussex play Lancashire at Old Trafford.

If the tear is close to the one on which he has already had surgery, he will miss the rest of the season.

Sussex have two Championship games before they go to Old Trafford and coach Mark Robinson is confident they will have a replacement overseas player in time for the first of them against Hampshire at Arundel on July 16.

Robinson said: "We want to sign an overseas player to cover for Mushy, even if it is only for three weeks.

"We are exploring all the possibilities, talking to agents and seeing what our options are."

Mushtaq will have his surgery at 8am on Monday and Sussex should know the diagnosis by the end of the day.

Robinson added: "It is not until the club surgeon Dr Turner opens up the knee that we will know the full extent of the damage.

"Obviously we hope it is not too bad. Mushy is feeling quite good now because he was worried that the injury might be career-threatening."

Mushtaq suffered this latest ligament tear when he slipped in footholds in the nets but he hobbled through 33 overs of this week's Championship game against Lancashire.

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