Australia fast bowler James Pattinson will undergo a spinal fusion surgery in New Zealand to fix a recurring stress fracture that could end his Test career.
Cricket Australia head of sports science Alex Kountouris said that Pattinson will do the procedure soon with the hope that it will prolong his career .
The paceman will undergo the surgery done by the same specialists that saved former Kiwi speedster Shane Bond.
The 27-year-old Pattinson, whose career has been disrupted by injuries, was forced to miss the upcoming Ashes after suffering another setback.
Kountouris said in Sydney: “He has got four old stress fractures that haven’t healed since his teenage years. What he’s doing is getting bone stress on one part of a healthy bone and that one part of the bone keeps breaking.
“It has broken four times in the one spot [since 2013]. He has broken it in the same spot again, that’s the bad thing. Once you heal from a fracture it shouldn’t break in the same place.
“It should become stronger than it ever was before. The fact he is going in the same place means there is a lot of stress in that one area.
“We’ve obviously reviewed this to death… looking at how much he bowled, all the technical stuff, there is a whole bunch of stuff we’re looking at.
“We’re hoping to learn from some of the things that have happened and what he can cope with and what we can’t cope with. He wants to play Test cricket and he’s obviously a very good Test bowler, so our goal is to get him back to Test cricket.
“He has been great. We’ve engaged him in these conversations with the specialists in New Zealand and stuff like that. We’ve had meetings, we’re discussing all the options.
“We haven’t 100% confirmed we’re going to do this, but we’re certainly a long way down the track of looking at it.”
Australia’s pacemen have a history of missing several games with injuries and will be hoping that Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood come through the gruelling five Tests against England that start on 23 November.