Josh Tongue, the Worcestershire seamer, could be out of action until mid-August having suffered a "stress reaction" in his left foot.
Tongue, 20, toured with the England Lions training camp over the winter and had an excellent chance in featuring in their squad this summer. He claimed nine wickets in his most recent Championship match and came relatively close to a call-up during the Ashes as injuries bit deep into England's seam-bowling resources. As one of the most talented seamers in the England game, he has every chance of playing at the highest level.
With Worcestershire hoping Tongue will be fit to return for their final six Championship matches of the season, it is possible he will only miss three games in the competition. Already established as a key bowler in their Championship side - he has a first-class bowling average of 24.52 after 20 matches - he was not certain to feature in their T20 side and had already been rested from several of their Royal London games.
Tongue first felt pain in his foot while warming up ahead of the Royal London match against Nottinghamshire. A subsequent scan showed the stress reaction in the fifth metatarsal, which is the long bone on the outside of the foot that connects to the little toe.
"It is a blow to lose Josh who showed last season how much potential he has got," head coach Kevin Sharp said.
"But there is nothing you can do about injuries. We just have to get on with it and hope we will have Josh back for the final part of the season and those final six Championship matches which is still a lot of cricket."
If his rehabilitation progresses as Worcestershire plan, they hope Tongue will be available for the match against Yorkshire in Scarborough in mid-August. That would also give him several weeks to impress the England scouts ahead of the selection for the winter tours.
Tongue's place in the Worcestershire side for their key Royal London match at Edgbaston was taken by 19-year-old Dillon Pennington. Like Tongue, he is a highly-rated young fast bowler who has made his way through the club's youth system and impressed with England U-19s. The Edgbaston match is his first-team debut.