England's stock of potential batting candidates for a summer that includes the World Cup and an Ashes series has been further hit by the news that Surrey's Ollie Pope is likely to miss most of the season after dislocating his shoulder.
News that Pope will require surgery on his left shoulder follows confirmation of Sam Billings, England's likely back-up for the World Cup, being sidelined for three-five months with a similar injury.
Surrey said that the club hoped Pope would be back in action "towards the back end of the current 2019 domestic season". Pope has not been capped in limited-overs cricket but could have been in contention for England's Test team to face Australia.
A Surrey statement said: "After suffering an injury while fielding during Tuesday's Royal London Cup victory over Essex at the Kia Oval, the 21-year-old was confirmed to have dislocated his shoulder. Having since visited a specialist, he has been advised that surgery would be the best course of action.
"It is hoped he will return to first-team cricket towards the back end of the current 2019 domestic season."
Pope made his Test debut last summer, playing twice against India, and was part of the squad that toured Sri Lanka. He was subsequently released to join up with the Lions, but began the season with a career-best 251 in Surrey's Champion County fixture against MCC.