Pattinson out of Ashes with back injury

James Pattinson has been ruled out of the Ashes after aggravating a stress fracture in his back, writing a new chapter in his shocking injury history.

 

The 27-year-old will take an indefinite break from bowling which will force him to miss at least the early part of Victoria's Sheffield Shield campaign.

The recurrence of the injury could cast doubt over his career, with the talented paceman limited to 17 Tests since his 2011 debut.

It's a heartbreaking blow for Pattinson who had enjoyed a strong season in county cricket for Nottinghamshire, taking 32 wickets in five matches at an average of 12.

James Pattinson ruled out of the Ashes. Pic: Getty

He returned 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.

Despite scans returning devastating news, Cricket Australia head physiotherapist Alex Kountouris is remaining confident the injury won't end the talented quick's career.

"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," Kountouris said.

"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."

Pattinson said he would discuss options with medical staff in coming weeks to prevent a recurrence.

Pattinson burst on to the international scene as a 21-year-old firing down 150km/h thunderbolts, but has since spent extended stretches out of the game in rehabilitation.

He's taken 70 Test wickets at an average of 26.15 for Australia and boasts an average of 22 in first-class cricket.

Pattinson's latest injury could put fellow injury-prone quick Nathan Coulter-Nile in line for an Ashes call-up after an impressive return in Australia's one-day international series against India.

While Hazlewood and Starc are also on the comeback trail, both are expected to play Shield cricket and be fit for the Ashes.

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