Australia captain Steve Smith will miss the Twenty20 series against India to return home due to a shoulder injury with the Ashes on the horizon.
Smith is sidelined for the three-game series, with Marcus Stoinis his replacement and David Warner to captain the side, Cricket Australia (CA) confirmed on Saturday.
The star batsman – who has not played a T20 for his country since March 2016 – was in doubt after hurting his shoulder during the fifth and final one-day international against India last week.
Smith landed awkwardly in the field as Australia suffered a seven-wicket defeat in Nagpur and he underwent an MRI scan after training on Thursday before skipping much of Friday's session.
Smith out of T20 series against India. Pic: AAP
Team doctor Richard Saw said: "Smith landed awkwardly on his right shoulder whilst diving in the field during the fifth ODI against India last Sunday.
"Following the match he complained of shoulder soreness, which has not settled and is restricting his ability to bat and throw.
"Subsequently he has had an MRI scan which has excluded serious injury, but we believe the best course of action is for him to not continue to aggravate his shoulder and allow it to recover.
"He will have further investigation upon his return to Australia but we remain confident he will be available for the start of the Sheffield Shield season."
Smith, who amassed 142 runs during the ODI series thanks to a pair of half-centuries, is expected to be fit for the Ashes against England, which gets underway in Brisbane on November 23.