England’s fast bowler, Jofra Archer will miss the entire season after suffering a stress fracture of the lower back.
It is another setback for the 27-year-old, who has not played since last July following two elbow operations.
Archer was on track in his recovery and was hoping to play domestic cricket this month, only to feel soreness in his back last week.
He is also set to miss the ICC Twenty/20 Cricket World Cup in Australia this year, with no timeframe set for his return.
It is the latest injury to an England fast bowler, with seven, including Archer, ruled out of the summer’s first Test against New Zealand.
Of the other six, four, Sam Curran, Olly Stone, Matt Fisher and Saqib Mahmood have back injuries.
This new blow will be a concern for Archer, once England’s most exciting fast bowling prospect but now facing more than a year on the sidelines.
Called up just before the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup, he memorably bowled the ‘super over’ that helped England triumph in the final against New Zealand at Lord’s.
He made his Test debut on the same ground against Australia later that summer, bowling a ferocious spell that resulted in Steve Smith being struck on the helmet and suffering a concussion.
Archer has played 13 Tests, 17 One Day Internationals and 12 Twenty/20 Internationals for England, taking 86 international wickets. His last appearance for England was in March of 2021.
He has also had a successful career in franchise leagues and was named as the Most Valuable Player in the Indian Premier League in 2020.