Australia have suffered a sizeable setback ahead of the Ashes after it was revealed James Pattinson will miss the series due to a reaggravation of a lower back stress fracture.
Pattinson had been a doubt for the series opener at the Gabba on November 23 after missing the tours of Bangladesh and India because of back problems but scans have confirmed a serious injury and he will now take an indefinite break from bowling.
The news dashes the potential of Australia fielding Pattinson alongside Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood as part of a fearsome four-pronged pace attack.
“Regular scans and recent imaging has confirmed that James has begun to reaggravate his previous lower back stress fracture,” said Alex Kountouris, Cricket Australia’s sports science and sports medicine manager.
“As such, he has discontinued bowling as part of his recovery which unfortunately means that he will be unavailable for the beginning of the Sheffield Shield and subsequently the Ashes campaign.
“Whilst this is very disappointing that James has reaggravated this old injury, we are confident that he can recover from this and return to playing.”
The 27-year-old reported pain in his back shortly after returning to Australia following a stint in county cricket with Nottinghamshire and he has not featured in any form of cricket since helping them to victory over Surrey in the Royal London One-Day Cup final on July 1.
While in England, Pattinson took 32 wickets in five Specsavers County Championship Division Two matches at a remarkably low average of 12.06.
Commenting on his misfortune, he said: “Obviously I am extremely disappointed with this setback after just getting back into a good run of playing cricket.
“I’m especially disappointed to miss out on the possibility to play in a home Ashes Series.
“Over the next few weeks I will discuss all available options available to me with medical staff, to work out the best plan to prevent this from happening again.”