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Long term injury casts shadow on Peter Siddle's international future

Scans revealed that Siddle had a stress fracture in his lower back while a surgery will also be conducted on his injury-prone ankle.

Peter Siddle Australia Cricket
Siddle will be out of action for an indefinite time after scans revealed a stress fracture in the pacer’s lower back

Australian fast bowler Peter Siddle has been diagnosed with stress fractures in his back that will reportedly keep him out of action for a long time, ESPNCricinfo reports. The 31-year-old, who suffered discomfort during the second innings of the first Test against New Zealand, was ruled out of the second Test in Christchurch but reports have now confirmed that the injury is much worse than expected. 

"Peter returned to Melbourne on Monday and had scans following the bout of back pain he suffered during the first Test in Wellington," David Beakley, the Cricket Australia physio, said. " Unfortunately, those scans have indicated a stress fracture in his lower back. He will now require a significant amount of time away from the game with a lengthy rehabilitation process.”

Lehmann happy with bowling department

Siddle. who made his international debut in 2008, has been troubled throughout his career with one injury or the other. Back trouble and an ankle injury had forced him to miss a part of Australia’s series against West Indies and New Zealand back home but Siddle was confident of regaining full fitness during the two-Test series against the Black Caps.

The plans have gone horribly wrong though and according to the team physio, the present injury lay-off will be utilised to carry out surgery on Siddle’s troublesome ankle. 

"Whilst he is laid off with his current back injury, we will take the opportunity for Peter to have exploratory surgery on his left ankle to investigate and treat the cause of his ongoing ankle pain. Once that surgery is complete we will have a better idea of his prognosis and likely rehabilitation time frame," the physio added.

With James Pattinson, Siddle’s replacement for the Christchurch Test, picking up six wickets in New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum’s farewell Test, along with Jackson Bird, who claimed seven scalps, Australia’s pace battery looks in top condition. With Mitchell Starc also well on his way to recovery from his own injury troubles, the future does look bleak for Siddle, especially considering his long tryst with injuries. 

Australian coach Darren Lehmann is however only happy to see the competition for places in the fast bowling departments and believes it augurs well for the future of the Australian Test team who recently reclaimed the No 1 spot in the ICC rankings. 

“It's certainly a reflection on the depth of bowling," Lehmann said of the No.1 ranking, regained after the win over New Zealand at Hagley Oval. "We've picked a side with the conditions in mind here, and we've got a fair few guys injured at the moment. That's a good sign for us going forward when we start to get our full quality quicks to pick from. That will put pressure on them as well, coming back. They've got to perform to play. That's a good thing for us going forward.”

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