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Sutherland pulls out of county deal with back injury

Australian international Will Sutherland has had to abandon his planned spell with English county Somerset through injury.

The 24-year-old suffered a back problem while captaining Victoria in the final round of Sheffield Shield games earlier in the week and has now withdrawn from playing in the county championship for the first time on medical advice.

Sutherland, who made his ODI debut for Australia in the recent series against West Indies, had been due to play in the opening round of first-class county games in April and May, before playing in the T20 Blast.

Sutherland in action
Will Sutherland in action against Western Australia in Melbourne earlier in the week. (Morgan Hancock/AAP PHOTOS)

"Everyone involved really feels for Will as he was relishing the challenge of playing for Somerset this summer, and we wish him a swift recovery," Somerset director of cricket, Andy Hurry, said on Friday.

"Obviously, it's a blow to lose a quality player this close to the start of the season, and our focus now is to secure a suitable replacement."

Sutherland had also signed to play for Essex last summer before again missing out, on that occasion with stress fracture to his back.

Somerset have had a tradition of fielding Victoria stars, including Cameron White, Chris Rogers and Peter Siddle.

They will still be able to call on another Australian international, Matt Renshaw, for the campaign. The Queenslander has signed up for his third spell at the Taunton-based division one outfit.