Toby Roland-Jones, the Middlesex seamer, faces another lengthy spell on the sidelines after suffering a knee cartilage tear while training on Tuesday ahead of his side's LV= County Championship clash with Gloucestershire at Lord's.
Roland-Jones, who has endured a horrific run of misfortune since breaking into the England Test squad in the 2017 home summer, is set to undergo surgery on Thursday, where the full extent of the injury will be ascertained.
Peter Waxman, Middlesex's Head of Science and Medicine, said: "Toby twisted his right knee in warm-ups on Tuesday sustaining a cartilage tear, which is due to be surgically repaired today.
"He is having keyhole surgery to ascertain the full extent of the injury and to repair the damage. His precise recovery time will be dictated by the exact nature of the injury and the procedure that is performed. He is expected to be unfit to play for a lengthy period of time."
It is a grievous set-back for Roland-Jones, 33, who had started the season well for Middlesex, claiming 13 wickets at 18.23 in three fixtures, having fought back from a series of injuries, including a stress fracture of the back that ruled him out of the 2018 season and a shoulder injury that kept him out of last summer's Bob Willis Trophy.
Speaking to ESPNcricinfo prior to the start of the season, Roland-Jones outlined the efforts he had made to get himself back to full fitness for the the 2021 season, with Stuart Law, Middlesex's head coach, acknowledging that his bowler had been looking "super-fit" having "changed his body shape".
"Given the disappointment of those recent seasons, my focus this year has been on a long-term goal," Roland-Jones said, "making changes from a physical standpoint as well as a bowling standpoint, to set things up for one, two, three summers, rather than hoping to get through three games back-to-back."
"This is horrible news for Toby," Law added. "He is having no luck with injury at all. It is really unfortunate to lose a player of Toby's ability and presence both on and off the field. We hope the post-surgery news is positive but his absence does create opportunities for other players to shine. We all wish him a speedy recovery."