Australia's teenage pace sensation Pat Cummins will likely miss the bulk of the home Test series against India with a bone stress heel injury, Cricket Australia said on Wednesday.
The 18-year-old fast bowler suffered the injury during his man-of-the-match debut in last month's second Johannesburg Test against South Africa.
It was initially thought to be bruising but new scans have revealed a bone stress problem and Cummins is unlikely to bowl again until early to mid-January, CA said.
India begins its four Test series against Australia at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Boxing Day with further Tests in Sydney, Perth and Adelaide throughout January.
“By the end of last week it was apparent to all of us managing him that he was progressing slower than expected for a soft tissue injury of the heel,” Australian team physiotherapist Alex Kountouris said on Wednesday.
“As such we arranged for him to see a foot specialist and had further scans that have identified a bone component to his injury that was not evident on the original scans.
“We now believe that Patrick has a bone stress injury as well as the fat pad injury (soft tissue injury).”
Kountouris said Cummins was not likely to resume bowling until after the opening two Tests against India.
The third Test against India is in Perth from January 13-17 and the fourth and final Test at Adelaide Oval from January 24-28.