Australia fast bowler Nathan Coulter-Nile could miss the Ashes after breaking down with another back injury, although fellow quick Josh Hazlewood has put down his marker after coming through a Sheffield Shield match unscathed.
Coulter-Nile has been ruled out for an indeterminate period of time and Cricket Australia’s Sports Science and Sports Medicine manager Alex Kountouris said: “Nathan experienced some pain in his back following the two-day tour match against England last week.
"Subsequent scans have revealed an early stage aggravation of his old stress fracture. Whilst this is a setback, the good news is that it has been picked up early, so we are only considering a short break while we monitor him.
"We expect he will have further scans over the next month which will determine when he can return.”
It is a blow for the 30-year-old, who has played 21 one-day and 19 Twenty20 internationals but has suffered a long list of injuries and is yet to make his Test debut.
Meanwhile, 26-year-old Hazlewood, who took six wickets for New South Wales against Western Australia this week, said today: “Things went well. From ball one, I was pretty surprised with how well the ball was coming out, how good the run-up felt, how good everything was in general.”
Hazlewood was forced to return from Bangladesh after the First Test in August after picking up a side strain.
Tasmania’s Jackson Bird has been withdrawn from his side’s Sheffield Shield match to join Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and Hazlewood in Brisbane for a training camp ahead of the start of the First Test at the Gabba in 13 days’ time.