Australia T20 bowler AJ Tye faces missing the entire KFC Big Bash League season with the Perth Scorchers and will have surgery on an elbow injury next week.
A Cricket Australia spokesperson confirmed Tye will go under the knife in Sydney on Monday and his return to playing will become clear in the days following the operation but could face up to four months on the sidelines.
The Western Australian was ruled out of the three-match Gillette T20 Series against Sri Lanka before a ball was bowled after sustaining an elbow injury during a fielding drill at Adelaide Oval on October 25.
Tye flew to Sydney from Adelaide to consult specialists and has now committed to the surgery that, if it takes him the full recovery period would rule him out of not only the entire KFC BBL season but also make it unlikely he would be fit in time for Australia's T20 and ODI series in South Africa in late February.
It's a second serious injury blow for the Scorchers with Jason Behrendorff already sidelined for the summer after he opted for back surgery.
The Scorchers will still boast a formidable pace attack with Jhye Richardson leading the way along with the likes of Joel Paris, Matthew Kelly and Cameron Green on their books, but their depth will be tested.
Australia T20 teammate Kane Richardson said he was "devastated" by the news.
"I'm so sad for him, there's never a good time but the timing for him is particularly awful," Richardson told cricket.com.au after Australia wrapped up a 3-0 series win against Sri Lanka.
"Hopefully he gets back for the Big Bash because he's such a good performer in that and people come to watch blokes like that bowl."
The injury occurred during a routine fielding drill with a seemingly innocuous throw. Tye confided he felt something 'pop' but wasn't in any immediate pain and later bowled in the nets during the same training session.
"It was one of the first handful of throws he did in a high intensity drill (on Friday), which required 100 per cent throwing," Australia T20 captain Aaron Finch said ahead of the Sri Lanka series opener.
"He was just a little bit off-balance and I think it was a bit of side-arm, slingy type throw and he just felt a bit of a pop in there.
"He's a quality bowler and it's unfortunate we're not going to have him (available)."
The silver lining for Australia is there are a number of contenders to fill the vacancy, with Sydney Sixers bowler Sean Abbott called up to the national team, while bowlers like Richardson – who took 2-25 at the MCG – have seized their opportunities.
"There's blokes sitting on that bench that even now with AJ out could be playing – Billy Stanlake took 2-20 in the (second) game and Sean Abbot has been the leading wicket-taker the last couple of years in the Big Bash.
"It's disappointing for AJ but there's so many quality bowlers out there, you could probably pick another three or four that aren't even in this squad."