Australia v Sri Lanka ODIs
Coulter-Nile faces 'lengthy' absence
WA quick diagnosed with serious back injury, but there's positive news for other members of Australia's fast-bowling cartel
Callum Kanoniuk in Dambulla, Sri Lanka
29 August 2016, 03:01 PM AEST
Nathan Coulter-Nile’s horror run of injuries has continued with the Western Australian paceman today diagnosed with a bone stress injury that will require a "lengthy rehabilitation period".
Cricket Australia’s update on Coulter-Nile comes days after he was sent home early from the Qantas Tour of Sri Lanka, ruling him out of the remainder of the One-Day International series and the Twenty20 Internationals that follow.
The WA quick had been with the squad for the duration of the tour, although he wasn’t seen in action since the intra-squad practice match nearly seven weeks ago.
A back complaint had hindered the 28-year-old’s preparation for the ODI series opener in Colombo, which Australia won by three wickets, however those concerns had seemingly been put to the rest when he bowled with serious pace in the nets at Premadasa Stadium last Tuesday.
But on Thursday, it was announced the quick would be sent home for further investigation into the injury late last week.
"After returning to Australia, Nathan underwent an MRI scan which has unfortunately revealed a lumbar bone stress injury in his lower back,” Bupa Support Team Physiotherapist David Beakley said today.
"He will now enter a lengthy rehabilitation period with his return to play will be determined in due course."
While the exact length of Coulter-Nile's lay-off is yet to be determined, NSW speedster Pat Cummins, who also suffered an "early stage lumbar bone stress fracture" 11 months ago, only made his return to cricket in a trial match for the Blues last week.
The news comes as another significant blow for the highly-rated WA fast bowler, who's has had a luckless run with injury.
A dislocated right shoulder suffered when he fell awkwardly in a KFC Big Bash League match in December, which followed a left shoulder injury during the Matador BBQs One-Day Cup just two months prior, saw him withdrawn from the Boxing Day Test squad to take on the West Indies.
And in September of last year, he was sent home from Australia's tour of England when a right hamstring injury brought his ODI series to a close, while numerous issues with his left hamstring had ended his World Cup dream earlier in 2015.
While it’s yet another significant setback for Coulter-Nile, the news for Australia’s other members of the pace-bowling fraternity is more positive.
John Hastings collected 2-41 in his return to international action last night following ankle surgery earlier this year, while Scott Boland has also re-joined the national squad after he broke his hand with the 'A' squad in Queensland just a couple of weeks ago.
Fellow Victorians Peter Siddle and James Pattinson continue to work through their injury rehab during the Australian winter, with Siddle seemingly still on track for a return at the start of the summer.
A return date for Pattinson is less clear, but the two-time reigning Sheffield Shield champions are pleased with the 26-year-old’s progress.
"He's working hard to have his body in the physical shape required to sustain the demands of bowling when the time comes," Victorian chairman of selectors Andrew Lynch told Fairfax.
"We don't have a definitive date for his return yet, but his strong progress to date is promising heading into summer."
Meanwhile, Cummins last week made a low-key outing with 0-21 from a six-over spell in a state trial game against Queensland on the Sunshine Coast.
Quick Single: Positive signs as Cummins returns
Still just 23 years old, Cummins has been carefully managed through his latest bout of back stress fractures in an attempt to finally see the immensely talented bowler on the field for an extended period.
"Everyone wants to see him get through a summer, and that's why the build-up through this season has been really gradual," NSW assistant coach Geoff Lawson said.
"It's just taking the next step on the ladder and not getting ahead of ourselves.
"That's the plan heading into the early competitions of the season – not overdoing it in one-day cricket, two-day club cricket, four-day Second XI cricket.
“So you just make it gradual, you plan as best as you can, and then you cross your fingers."