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Jamie Overton set to miss Test summer with back stress fracture

Fast bowler suffers recurrence of injury that limited his availability in 2023

Matt Roller
Matt Roller
Jamie Overton attempts to shine the Kookaburra ball, Surrey vs Nottinghamshire, County Championship Division One, The Oval, July 12, 2023

Jamie Overton experienced discomfort while playing for Surrey  •  Getty Images

England's fast-bowling stocks have been dealt another blow after Jamie Overton was diagnosed with a lower-back stress fracture which will likely rule him out of contention for their Test series against West Indies and Sri Lanka this summer.
Overton played his only Test at Headingley in June 2022, taking two wickets against New Zealand and scoring 97 from No. 8. But a stress fracture ruled him out of the Ashes last summer and, after initial scans on his back were inconclusive, he has been diagnosed with another stress fracture which is likely to keep him out for the rest of the English summer.
A Surrey spokesperson told ESPNcricinfo: "We can confirm that Jamie Overton has suffered a stress fracture of the lower back. There is currently no timeline for his return but he will continue his recovery under the guidance of the Surrey medical department."
Overton still hopes to play some cricket this summer and it is understood that his latest stress fracture was caught relatively early. He has previously played as a specialist batter in the T20 Blast while recovering from previous injuries.
It is a cruel blow for Overton, who was set to feature in England's squad for the T20 World Cup in June but felt discomfort after Surrey's draw in the County Championship against his old club Somerset. Rob Key, England men's managing director, said that Overton was "very much in the running" for selection and was "desperately unlucky" to miss out.
England's fast-bowling depth will be tested this summer following Stuart Broad's retirement after last summer's Ashes, and with James Anderson set to bow out of international cricket after the first West Indies Test at Lord's.
Josh Tongue, who joined Nottinghamshire from Worcestershire in the off-season, is yet to feature this season and is unlikely to play Test cricket this summer due to a pectoral muscle issue. "Josh has had a setback to his original injury," an ECB spokesperson said. "There is no timescale on when he'll return to action."
Saqib Mahmood, who is returning from multiple stress fracture of his own, came on and off the field several times on the final morning of Lancashire's Championship match against Durham on Monday, while Matthew Potts only bowled three overs in Lancashire's second innings.

Matt Roller is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @mroller98