In a huge blow to Australian cricket, teenage fast bowler Lauren Cheatle will miss the remainder of 2017 after scans confirmed she has sustained a back stress fracture.
The 19-year-old, who has played two one-day internationals and seven T20s for her country, will likely miss most of the 2017-18 season, including the third season of the Rebel Women’s Big Bash League for the Sydney Sixers.
"Lauren has sustained a bone stress injury to her back and will be unavailable for the remainder of this year," Cricket Australia Team Physiotherapist Kate Mahony said.
"The injury will be reassessed in the new year and we hope to have more information regarding her ability to return to the game at that stage.”
In the wake of the drawn day-night Test match in Sydney on Sunday, Australia head coach Matthew Mott revealed a “niggle” was one reason why Cheatle was overlooked for four-day fixture.
She was subsequently left out of Australia’s 13-player squad for the T20 international squad and will be replaced by Nicola Carey in the Governor-General’s XI for tonight’s match against England at Drummoyne Oval.
Now Cheatle will battle to be back on the park by summer’s end, which would likely mean missing WBBL03 with her new club the Sixers, with whom she penned a three-year deal with in September after two years with cross-town rivals Sydney Thunder.
The youngster has endured a horror year with injury. In May, she underwent a shoulder reconstruction that ruled her of the winter’s Women’s World Cup in the United Kingdom.
But what hurt her the most was not picking up a bat or ball for 14 weeks while she rehabilitated her damaged limb.
"It's one of the toughest things I've gone through," she told cricket.com.au.
"Not just in my cricket career but in my 18 years of living."
Commonwealth Bank Women's Ashes
Australia lead England 4-2
Australia T20 squad: Sarah Aley, Alex Blackwell, Ashleigh Gardner, Rachael Haynes (c), Alyssa Healy, Jess Jonassen, Delissa Kimmince, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Molly Strano, Elyse Villani, Amanda-Jade Wellington.
England squad: Heather Knight (c), Tammy Beaumont, Katherine Brunt, Sophie Ecclestone, Georgia Elwiss, Jenny Gunn, Alex Hartley, Danielle Hazell, Laura Marsh, Anya Shrubsole, Sarah Taylor, Nat Sciver, Fran Wilson, Lauren Winfield, Danielle Wyatt.
First ODI Australia won by two wickets
Second ODI Australia won by 75 runs (DLS method)
Third ODI England won by 20 runs (DLS method)
Day-Night Test North Sydney Oval, November 9-12
First T20 North Sydney Oval, November 17
North Sydney Charity Partner: McGrath Foundation
Second T20 Manuka Oval, November 19
Third T20 Manuka Oval, November 21
Canberra Charity Partner: Lord's Taverners ACT