Scott Brant, Essex's overseas fast bowler, will miss the remainder of the English season due to a knee injury. He has missed Essex's last three matches and will fly back to Brisbane on Monday to undergo surgery.

Brant notched up 37 first-class wickets in 11 matches with a best of 6 for 45 - enough to earn him another contract for next season. David East, Essex's chief executive, said: "Scott's injury is a great disappointment to us all. He complained of acute knee pain a couple of weeks ago, but a scan did not reveal any structural problems at that time. However, the condition has not improved and our medical team has decided that surgical investigation is the only real option."

He added: "Scott has fitted into the Essex dressing room magnificently, and has adapted to English conditions very well taking regular wickets in all competitions. We are delighted that he has agreed to join us again next year, and hope that he recovers quickly from the knee problem."

Brant will be replaced by the Pakistan fast bowler Mohammed Akram, who will play for the remainder of the summer. Mohammed, who becomes the 54th overseas player for this season, has played in nine Tests and 23 one-day internationals, and will make his debut next Sunday against Kent in the National League at Canterbury.

East said: "We are delighted that Mohammed has been able to step into the gap left by Scott for this crucial part of the season, and are looking forward to him making a major contribution in both the Championship and National Cricket League."