Toby Roland-Jones is unlikely to tour Australia for the Ashes this winter after suffering a stress fracture in his lower back on the first day of Middlesex’s Specsavers County Championship match against Lancashire.
Roland-Jones underwent a scan on Thursday and the club confirmed Friday afternoon that he had suffered the injury in his L5 vertebra. It means that he will miss their final match of the season at Somerset next week.
The recovery time on his injury is usually between six and 12 weeks – that will almost certainly keep him out of the trip Down Under, for which England leave in five weeks.
England are set to announce their squad for the tour on Wednesday. Roland-Jones featured in four Tests this summer, picking up 17 wickets including a five-wicket haul on debut against South Africa at The Oval.
It had been felt that his position in the squad was a lock but his plans would appear to have now been ruined. England may turn to county teammate Steven Finn, who picked up figures of eight for 79 in that Lancashire match, in place of Roland-Jones.
His injury is a huge blow to Middlesex, too: their Division One survival hopes hinge on that Taunton trip and their attack will be severely weakened by Roland-Jones’ absence.