Ashley Noffke has been ruled out of Queensland's important FR Cup match against Victoria on Wednesday due to concern over his ongoing back problem. Noffke has been replaced in the squad by the fast bowler Nathan Rimmington, who was a strong performer in the Twenty20 competition but has not played an FR Cup game since October 2006.
A decision on Noffke's fitness for next week's one-day game in Adelaide will be made after he plays club cricket on the weekend. Queensland will at least have Andrew Symonds available and the batsman has struck form at grade level having scored 137 for the Gold Coast on Saturday.
The uncertainty over Noffke comes at an awkward time for the Bulls, who are second on the points table with two matches remaining. A win over the first-placed Bushrangers at the MCG on Wednesday would give them a strong chance of hosting the final.
There is no such hope for New South Wales, who are second-last and cannot reach the decider with one game to go. The Blues play Victoria on Friday, also at the MCG, and they have regained the opener David Warner following his brief stint in the Australia team.
However, they will be without the fast bowler Mark Cameron, who will miss most of the rest of the season with a back injury. Cameron bowled with a sore back throughout the recent Sheffield Shield victory over Tasmania and is expected to be sidelined for up to six weeks.
For Wednesday's match Victoria will welcome back Brad Hodge from his hamstring injury but the opener Chris Rogers has been ruled out due to a back injury that flared up during Saturday's game against Tasmania. John Hastings and Clint McKay also return to the squad to replace Peter Siddle and Michael Hill.
Victoria squad Brad Hodge, Rob Quiney, Aaron Finch, Matthew Wade, Andrew McDonald (capt), John Hastings, Adam Crosthwaite (wk), Damien Wright, Clint McKay, Shane Harwood, Bryce McGain, Dirk Nannes.
Queensland squad Ryan Broad, Clinton Perren, Lee Carseldine, Andrew Symonds, Glen Batticciotto, Nathan Reardon, Chris Simpson (capt), Chris Hartley (wk), Ryan Harris, Chris Swan, Nathan Rimmington, Ben Laughlin.
New South Wales squad David Warner, Phillip Hughes, Simon Katich (capt), Moises Henriques, Ben Rohrer, Dominic Thornely, Steven Smith, Daniel Smith (wk), Nathan Hauritz, Aaron Bird, Burt Cockley, Doug Bollinger.