The Australian fast bowler Nathan Coulter-Nile has been ruled out of the upcoming Ashes series after the previous stress fracture got exacerbated. However, he can return to cricket at the back end of the summer.
The Western Australia quick played his first JLT Sheffield Shield match after two years in the opening round of this year’s competition bowling 15 overs against Tasmania. He was rested for the second match. However, he bowled 16 overs in the tour match against the England side as WA captain. He reported some pain the day after the match got over and now a hot spot has been spotted in his lower spine in the scan reports.
“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. 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,” Alex Kountouris, the Cricket Australia Sports Science and Sports Medicine Manager said.
Given the possibility that additional fast-bowlers will be needed during the five-match Ashes series, Coulter-Nile was one of the top contenders to fill the spot of the Australia if any of the regular pacers sustained any injury. However, this fresh injury will be the WA speedster as he had been ruled out of the tour now.
“However, Coulter-Nile thought of walking away from Australian cricket to become a specialist T20 player before getting selected for the India tour, where he was the leading wicket-taker picking up 12 wickets featuring in all the matches. I lost my Australian contract and Greg Chappell came on as a selector (in a new role) and we all know he’s got a big youth focus. I was having a good IPL at the time so I thought I could probably just do this. I thought it might be time just to focus on forging a career in T20s. On reflection and thinking about it and speaking to JL (Justin Langer) and blokes like that, I just thought I really want to play Test cricket,” Coulter-Nile revealed to Seven West Media.
Coulter-Nile has not featured in back-to-back first-class games since 2015, and there was a lot of concerns about selection on the side which took on the touring England side.
“We are mindful of this and want to ensure his return to this level of cricket is managed appropriately to give him the best chance this season. He is coping pretty well in his return from injury but he is still building up to the levels required for consecutive first-class matches,” Western Australia coach Justin Langer was heard saying about the fast-bowler.
Nathan Coulter-Nile has featured in 21 ODI’s and 19T20I’s for the baggy green picking up 37 and 23 wickets respectively.