Eoin Morgan has been ruled out of England's five-match ODI tour of India, which gets underway next month, after it was confirmed by the ECB that he is to undergo surgery to correct a long-standing shoulder problem.
Morgan's absence will be a big blow to England on the slow and spin-friendly tracks of India, where his unique ability to create and work gaps in the field would have been invaluable. He was withdrawn from the squad for the home series against India ahead of the second ODI at the Rose Bowl earlier this week, after feeling "acute" pain during the Twenty20 international at Old Trafford.
"After seeing a specialist today it has been confirmed that Eoin will require surgery to his right shoulder with the likelihood of repairing a chronic SLAP lesion," said the ECB chief medical officer, Nick Peirce. "We have managed the injury to date with a conservative program but Eoin has now reached the stage where surgery is most appropriate progression of his treatment.
"Following the operation Eoin will undertake a rehabilitation programme ruling him out of all cricket for approximately 12 weeks. The recovery period is anticipated to see him return to full fitness ahead of England's tour of the UAE commencing in January."
Morgan initially developed discomfort in his shoulder during the Ashes tour in the winter, but until the pain flared up during the Twenty20, it had not been a significant hindrance to his batting. The bigger problem areas had been diving and throwing from the outfield.
"It's obviously a massive loss," said England's captain, Alastair Cook. "He's an outstanding player. It's gutting news for Eoin that he has to have this operation and miss a substantial amount of cricket and an important tour. But as always, it gives someone else an opportunity.
"Eoin's been a hallmark of our batting, a fantastic middle-order finisher," added Cook. "But someone else now gets the opportunity to do that, and if we can develop more people in that role it can only strengthen our team. We want to keep improving as a team, and need a good squad to do that."
Earlier this year Morgan suffered a finger injury during the one-day series in Australia but continued to play on after suffering the blow. By the time he was sent home two days before the end of the tour, the damage was serious enough to stop him heading to the World Cup. However, he did eventually join the tournament after Kevin Pietersen suffered his hernia.
Late last month Morgan made his international captaincy debut when he led England against Ireland in Dublin and has also begun to settle himself in the middle-order of the Test side.