Sydney: Australia's young fast-bowling spearhead James Pattinson is out of the remainder of the Test series against India after scans revealed the early signs of stress fractures in the metatarsal bone of his left foot.
He has been replaced in the squad for the Perth Test by Mitchell Starc - the only change to the squad that was selected for Sydney. Ryan Harris is favoured to win a recall to the XI after making his own return to fitness.
Pattinson bowled throughout the Sydney Test but complained of pain in his left foot towards the end of the match. Scans revealed the injury, which the team physio Alex Kountouris called an "early stage bone stress injury of the metatarsal bone of the left foot".
"He will be managed carefully over the next few weeks and will not be available for the remainder of the Test series," Kountouris said.
John Inverarity, the national selector, said his panel had already considered resting Pattinson for the WACA Test after he played four Tests in little more than a month since his debut against New Zealand in Brisbane.
"The intention of the National Selection Panel was to rest James from the Perth Test match as this young man has played in four Test matches over a period of just five weeks," Inverarity said. "This intention has become a necessity after post-match scans have revealed James' foot injury."
Pattinson's injury is a serious blow to Australia, given that in those four Tests he has taken 25 wickets at 18.12, while also impressing considerably with the bat. It also continues an unsettling run of injuries for young fast bowlers. Pat Cummins, who made an equally remarkable introduction against South Africa in Johannesburg in November, is missing the entirety of the home Test summer due to a heel injury.
At the other end of the age scale is Harris, who would now appear certain to return to the XI for the Perth Test, after battling a hip problem and then building up his fitness for Test cricket with an intensive training regimen through December.
Australia squad for Perth:
Michael Clarke (c), Brad Haddin (vc), Ed Cowan, Ryan Harris, Ben Hilfenhaus, Mike Hussey, Nathan Lyon, Shaun Marsh, Ricky Ponting, Peter Siddle, Mitchell Starc, David Warner