England pacer Saqib Mahmood was on Monday ruled out for the rest of the season due to a lumbar stress fracture, said the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB).
Mahmood had recently made his England Test debut against West Indies in March apart from picking a Player of the Series award in the ODI series against Pakistan last year.
"Mahmood was unavailable for Lancashire's last Championship fixture due to low back pain, and scans have revealed that he has a lumbar stress fracture and will miss the remainder of the 2022 English summer. No timeframe has been set for his return. His ongoing rehabilitation will be co-managed between Lancashire and England medical teams," said the ECB in a statement.
Mahmood's injury comes as a huge blow for England's Test team, further thinning their pace bowling options ahead of a three-match home series against New Zealand starting from June 2.
With Chris Woakes and Mark Wood already out of contention for the series starting from Lord's Cricket Ground apart from Ollie Robinson struggling with fitness issues, new head coach Brendon McCullum will have to carefully choose the pacers for England's path to resurrection in Test cricket.
The 25-year-old Mahmood debuted in Test cricket during the second Test at Barbados in March and featured in the third Test at Grenada on England's Test trip to the Caribbean. He picked six wickets at an average of 22.83, impressing cricket watchers with his pace.
He also top-scored with 49 in the first innings of the Grenada Test, taking England from 114/9 to 204 all out in a 90-run stand for the last wicket with Jack Leach. In his lone County Championship appearance for Lancashire against Gloucestershire, Mahmood had figures of 2/44 and 2/46 before sitting out due to a shoulder injury against Worcestershire.
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