The fast bowler Jackson Bird will not rejoin Australia's squad in India after scans in Melbourne confirmed he has a bone stress injury in his back. Bird is likely to be out of action for up to two months, which is a worrying development for Australia in an Ashes year, given how well Bird's accurate seam-bowling style could translate to English conditions.
Bird took 0 for 10 from 10 overs in the warm-up match against the Indian Board President's XI two weeks ago but was not picked for the first Test in Chennai. He flew home after the Test to have his back injury assessed and Australia's team doctor Peter Brukner said the results had shown a problem with his lower back.
"Initial tests performed in Melbourne have confirmed that Jackson Bird has a bone stress injury of the low back," Brukner said. "He will undergo further tests tomorrow [Thursday]. He will not be re-joining the team in India."
The loss of Bird leaves Australia with a 16-man squad ahead of the second Test, which starts in Hyderabad on Saturday. At this stage, the selectors have not decided on whether to send a replacement player to join the group, leaving Mitchell Johnson as the only extra fast bowler in the group besides those who played in the first Test.