Australia fast bowler James Pattinson out of Ashes due to stress fracture in his back
Injury-prone fast bowler James Pattinson has been ruled out of the Ashes after aggravating a stress fracture in his back.
But Australian medical staff are confident the latest flare-up of the injury won't end the talented paceman's career.
The 27-year-old will take an indefinite break from bowling and will miss at least the early part of Victoria's Sheffield Shield campaign.
It's a heartbreaking blow for Pattinson who had enjoyed a strong season in county cricket before returning to Australia, where his back had flared up again, forcing him out of contention for the two-test series in Bangladesh.
"Obviously, I am extremely disappointed with this setback after just getting back into a good run of playing cricket," Pattinson said in a statement.
"I'm especially disappointed to miss out on the possibility to play in a home Ashes Series."
Pattinson's absence from the Ashes means Australia won't be able to utilise their "big four" fast bowlers.
But counterparts Mitch Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins are on track to play the first test against England from November 23 in Brisbane.
Australian sports medicine and sports science manager Alex Kountouris said Pattinson had experienced back pain after returning to bowling.
He said scans and imaging had confirmed an old stress fracture had been aggravated.
"Whilst this is very disappointing that James has re-aggravated this old injury, we are confident that he can recover from this and return to playing," Kountouris said.
"However, James' current injury is complex because his history of old stress fractures from his teenage years means there is one part of his spine that absorbs more force than it would normally do.
"This is the area the of current re-aggravation but we are hopeful that we can put strategies in place to help manage this when James returns to playing."
Injury has limited Pattinson to 17 tests since his 2011 debut against New Zealand.
He's taken 70 wickets at an average of 26.15 for Australia and boasts an average of 22 in first-class cricket.
Pattinson said he would discuss options with medical staff in coming weeks to prevent a recurrence.