Jamie Overton out of Test summer with back stress fracture

England’s fast-bowling stocks have been dealt another blow after Jamie Overton was diagnosed with a lower-back stress fracture which will rule him out of 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.”

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.

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