Test opener Matthew Renshaw is a touch-and-go proposition for at least the start of Australia A's tour of India next month as he recovers from a broken finger.
Renshaw had surgery on his left index finger last week, a fortnight after he broke it during a catching drill for Somerset in English county cricket.
The left-hander has been picked for both the one-day and four-day segments of the Australia A tour, which runs from August 17 to September 14 and will act as a crucial spin test ahead of Australia's Test campaign in the UAE in October.
But with Renshaw still four weeks away from being able to pick up a bat again, he's racing the clock to be fit for the start of the Indian tour.
"I've got surgery ... so probably about 6-8 weeks after that," he told the Brisbane Heat podcast when asked about his planned return to playing.
"I'll hopefully get back just in time for the Aus A series, but we'll have to work on that quite a bit."
A 6-8 week recovery period puts Renshaw in some doubt for at least the start of one-day tri-series in India, which runs from August 17 to 29. But more importantly ahead of the UAE Tests, he should be fit for the two first-class games against India A on September 2-5 and 8-11, unless he has a setback over the coming weeks.
Having been axed for last summer's Ashes series, Renshaw has re-emerged as a key batsman in Australia's Test side following the bans handed down to Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft.
The 22-year-old earned a Test recall following the ball-tampering scandal and then scored 513 runs in 11 Championship innings for Somerset, a strong return in his first taste of first-class cricket in England.
Selectors will be desperately hoping for a quick recovery from both him and veteran Shaun Marsh, who will have further scans this week after injuring his shoulder playing for Glamorgan.
Coach Justin Langer has already flagged the A tour will have a "huge" bearing on selection for the Test side that will play two Tests against Pakistan in the UAE.
"It's a great opportunity, particularly for our young batsmen, or any batsman in Australia," Langer said.
"I'll certainly be watching it closely because we have to start building the top six in the Test team."
Renshaw is one of four members of Australia's top six from the Johannesburg Test in March that will play in India, along with four-day skipper Mitchell Marsh, Victorian Peter Handscomb and Queensland's Usman Khawaja.
Uncapped pair Travis Head and Kurtis Patterson have also been picked for the four-day games and could force their way into the Test side with strong performances on the spinning tracks of India.
Australia A Tour of India
Australia A four-day squad: Mitchell Marsh (c), Alex Carey (vc), Ashton Agar, Brendan Doggett, Peter Handscomb, Travis Head, Jon Holland, Usman Khawaja, Michael Neser, Joel Paris, Kurtis Patterson, Matthew Renshaw, Mitch Swepson, Chris Tremain
Australia A one-day squad: Travis Head (c), Alex Carey (vc), Ashton Agar, Peter Handscomb, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Michael Neser, Matthew Renshaw, Jhye Richardson, D’Arcy Short, Billy Stanlake, Mitch Swepson, Chris Tremain, Jack Wildermuth
One-day fixtures in Vijayawada
17 August v India A
19 August v South Africa A
23 August v India A
25 August v South Africa A
29 August – Tri-Series Final
Four-day fixtures in Vizag
2 – 5 September v India A
8 – 11 September v India A