Melbourne Renegades' Big Bash League finals hopes have received a huge blow after Cricket Australia opted to pull Test quick James Pattinson from Monday's must-win clash with Adelaide Strikers.
Pattinson had been in cotton wool for two weeks following his starring role in Australia's 2-0 Test series win over the West Indies and appeared to have received the all clear for the fourth-placed Renegades' Etihad Stadium clash.
However, CA officials said they would not risk Pattinson who had been nursing a shin complaint since the Windies series.
"The decision to stand him down from Renegades duty for Monday's game was taken by Cricket Australia's medical staff in consultation with the Renegades and is felt to be a prudent approach to the ongoing management of his shin," a CA statement said.
"Especially with a tour of New Zealand, Twenty20 Internationals in South Africa and the ICC World Twenty20 (World Cup) to follow immediately after the conclusion of the summer at home."
The understrength Renegades attack had been sweating on the return of Pattinson who had not been sighted since taking 13 wickets in three Windies Tests.
The Renegades must defeat the second placed Strikers to lock in a finals berth.
CA have closely managed Pattinson's workload due to the tearaway quick's long injury history.
His career stalled for nearly two years due to back and hamstring problems before Pattinson returned to the Test arena against the Windies.