Ashes hopeful suffers injury setback

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Western Australia left-arm fast bowler Jason Behrendorff was forced to withdraw from the Sheffield Shield match against South Australia.

Behrendorff is not expected to be on the sidelines for very long as he is only suffering with low grade pain in his back.

His withdrawal will hurt his chances of being included in the squad for the Ashes opener however.

Behrendorff had vaulted into contention after injuries to James Pattinson and Nathan Coulter-Nile but the selectors look likely to stick with the established trio of Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins with Jackson Bird favoured in reserve.

The quartet have been withdrawn from Shield cricket this week and will spend some time at the High Performance Centre in Brisbane preparing to face England.

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WACA physiotherapist Nick Jones said in a statement to cricket.com.au: “Jason has pulled up with low grade back soreness after the Sheffield Shield game with New South Wales.

“He will use the next 10 days to recover and is expected to be fit by Round 4 when the Warriors play Queensland.”

WA coach Justin Langer was unwilling to risk Behrendorff preferring his players to be at 100 percent when they play.

Langer said: “Our philosophy with any of the players here at the WACA is you need to be fit to perform rather than fit to play.

“Jason would have been fit to play this game but he’ll be ready to perform next round against Queensland.”

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Behrendorff made his T20I debut last month when Australia toured India impressing in his second match with a return of 4/21.

The first Ashes Test gets underway in Brisbane on November 23.

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