NSW Blues and Australian seam bowler Trent Copeland will miss the first half of the season with a stress fracture of the back.
Copeland has a stress fracture of the lower back, with scans confirming the diagnosis this week.
The 28 year-old St George paceman complained of pain in the pre-season but felt that it might just be normal wear and tear: “I really felt the pain when I captained in the recent 2nd X1 match”, Copeland said, “I went and had scans afterwards and they pinpointed the fracture. The injury is already showing signs of getting better and I expect to be playing as a batsman for St George in two weeks. I then hope to be bowling just before Xmas and to be available to play by the back end of the Big Bash.”
Copeland joins all-rounder Moises Henriques on the sidelines. Henriques suffered a torn calf against Victoria last week and is expected to be out for six weeks.
This brings to 14 the number of players who will be unavailable for the NSW Blues for their opening Bupa Sheffield Shield match against Victoria at the MCG, beginning on Friday 31 October.
The Blues’ will have 12 players on national duty with Michael Clarke, Brad Haddin, Nathan Lyon, Stephen O’Keefe, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc and David Warner currently on Test duty in the UAE, while Sean Abbott, Doug Bollinger, Pat Cummins, Nic Maddinson and Shane Watson are in the T20 squad to take on South Africa next month.