Nathan Coulter-Nile will take a “short break” after suffering a fresh back problem and for that, he has been sidelined from the Ashes series, Cricket Australia announced on Friday (November 10). The Western Australia pacer is unlikely to be a part of the highly-anticipated series against England.
Coulter-Nile was set to be in Australia's Ashes squad since his impressive performances in the limited-overs series in India recently. He was the man-of-the-match in Western Australia's Sheffield Shield victory against Tasmania last month and claimed four wickets for WA XI in the two-day tour match versus England at the WACA last weekend. However, Coulter-Nile, who has a history of spinal stress fractures, experienced pain in his back following the tour match, is unlike to be a part of the Ashes now.
"Nathan experienced some pain in his back following the two-day tour match against England last week. Subsequent scans have revealed an early stage aggravation of his old stress fracture,” Alex Kountouris, CA's sports science and sports medicine manager, said as quoted by Cricbuzz.
"Whilst this is a setback, the good news is that it has been picked up early so we are only considering a short break from bowling while we monitor him. We expect he will have further scans over the next month which will determine when he can return to bowling."
Coulter-Nile had been on the fringes of a Test call-up previously having been the 12th man during the 2015-16 Australian summer and being part of Australia's tour of Sri Lanka in 2016. It means Jackson Bird, the veteran Tasmanian seamer, is set to be the backup pace option behind Australia's frontline trio of Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, and Pat Cummins.
The 30-year-old said he was ready to step up if called upon.
"I'm under no illusions where I sit in that pecking order... but there's been a lot of injuries around in the last 12 months so I'll be ready to go," Bird told reporters on Friday.
"If those guys are all fit at the start of a Test match they more than likely will play. I've got no issues with that; those guys are three of the best fast bowlers in the world when they're up and running."