Reece Topley is to undergo surgery on his back on Monday.
Topley, who was diagnosed with a recurrence of a stress fracture earlier this month, will have a pin inserted in his lower back during the procedure at Wellington Hospital, just next to Lord's. If his rehabilitation progresses well, he hopes to be fit to play not long after the start of the 2019 English domestic season.
He faces an uncertain future, though. Not only is this the fifth stress fracture he has suffered in his lower back in six seasons as a professional cricketer, but he is out of contract at Hampshire at the end of this season and most unlikely to be offered a new deal. Any future county may require some persuasion before taking a chance on him in 2019.
It is, however, the first time he has undergone surgery on his back. And while the procedure has been complicated a bit as the company that produced the screws preferred by surgeons in such situations has gone into receivership, it is thought he has a good chance of making a full recovery.
While Topley has been plagued by back trouble throughout his career, he has represented England in 10 ODIs and six T20Is and remains highly-rated by the England management. Only a month ago, they considered recalling him as a replacement for the injured Tom Curran in the T20I squad facing India.