Cricket: Pattinson out of Ashes series

The bad news has continued for Australia, with fast bowler James Pattinson ruled out for the rest of the Ashes series.

Pattinson has suffered stress fractures in his lower back after complaining of back and hip soreness during the final day of the Lord's Test and team doctor Peter Brunker said on Monday scans revealed the cause of the problem.

"We had some scans done today in London that have identified an early stage low back stress fracture,'' Brunker said.

"Unfortunately he will not take any further part in this Test series and will commence a rehabilitation program with the aim to have him back for the Australian summer.''

At just 23 years of age, there must now be major concerns about Pattinson's durability after yet another setback.

The Australian batting collapse in the second Test meant the bowling attack had just 54 overs to rest between long stints in the field.

It's plausible that Australia's batting woes has sidelined a frontline bowler. Pattinson played the first and second Tests, with just four days in between Trent Bridge and Lord's.

Pattinson has an extensive history of injuries during his young career.

He was ruled out midway through last summer with a side strain and suffered stress fractures as a teenager.

Australia have a brilliant pool of fast bowlers, but players breaking down continue to be a problem. At this stage, a replacement hasn't been announced, but performance manager Pat Howard said Australia A bowlers would be considered, although there are five quicks already with the squad in England.

"While we are obviously disappointed for James, the selectors have five bowlers fit and ready perform in England, providing them with many options,'' Howard said.

"It is also important to note that several players have been performing for Australia A and are available to be called up at any stage if required. We've been well planned to have as many bowlers fit and available in the lead-up to this important series and while this set-back for James is disappointing, we are confident we have good fast bowling depth.''

Nathan Coulter-Nile and Chadd Sayers shape as front runners if a replacement is summoned. Pat Cummins is with Australia A and performed well against Zimbabwe, but given his own injury history, he's unlikely to be rushed back.

Pattinson struggled for rhythm in the first two Tests and was in danger of being dropped anyway.

Mitchell Starc and Jackson Bird are in line to come in at Old Trafford.

Pattinson will stay with the squad until the end of the Manchester Test.


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