England news February 2, 2012

Tremlett faces three months out

Chris Tremlett is facing a lengthy break from the game after specialists decided his back injury requires surgery. He will now miss England's tour to Sri Lanka at the end of March.

After experiencing a recurrence of back pain bowling in the first Test in Dubai, Tremlett flew home from England's tour of the UAE last week. He had not played since July when he was forced out of the Test series against India with the same problem. He subsequently underwent a long period of rest and recuperation but the strain of bowling in a match situation appears to have exacerbated the injury.

Tremlett will hope to regain his fitness with Surrey ahead of the start of England's home season against West Indies in May.

He said on Twitter that he had seen a specialist and may face three months on the sidelines: "Scans reveal a bulging disc and may require a little clean up. Hopefully back playing mid to end of April."

Until injury intervened, Tremlett had enjoyed a fine return to Test cricket. Recalled to the team ahead of the third Test of the 2010-11 Ashes, Tremlett took 36 wickets in his next seven Tests including 17 in three Tests against Australia.

But now aged 30 this new setback will renew concerns over whether his 6ft 7in frame can withstand the rigours of fast bowling in Test cricket.

England have decided against calling up a replacement for Tremlett to their Test squad in the UAE. He was the second bowler forced to return home after Tim Bresnan, who underwent elbow surgery at the start of December. Bresnan has subsequently started bowling again in Yorkshire.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo