England fast bowler Steven Finn has been ruled out of the upcoming Ashes series after suffering a knee injury.
The 28-year-old seamer was added to the squad following Ben Stokes' arrest in September, but has torn his left knee cartilage in training on Thursday (1 November). The injury had initially forced him to miss England's first two tour matches, in Perth over the weekend and against a Cricket Australia XI in Adelaide from Wednesday (8 November).
But further assessments have revealed the Middlesex man will miss the rest of the tour and will be flown over to the UK within the next 48 hours, where he will then meet with specialists to discuss whether he requires surgery on the injury.
England will name a replacement in due course though it remains to be seen how the blow affects the team which plays in the final tour match in Townsville next before, before the first Test in Brisbane on 23 November.
The lack of options is likely to give England's coach Trevor Bayliss and captain Joe Root a selection headache ahead of the five-Test series. While James Anderson and Stuart Broad are among the best bowlers of their generations, they have often struggled on Australian wickets and even before the squad was named there were concerns England's seamers would struggle for pace against their counterparts.
Those issues have been exacerbated after Toby Roland-Jones, who impressed over the summer, was ruled out with a stress fracture in his back. Mark Wood, one of the few England seamers regularly capable of bowling at around 90mph has travelled to Australia with the Lions in a bid to prove his fitness, as has Tom Helm.
Craig Overton and Jake Ball were both ahead of Finn in the pecking order, but the former is yet to make his England Test debut, while the latter has won only three caps, meaning England could turn to Liam Plunkett to bolster their options.
The Yorkshire fast bowler has enjoyed an outstanding 18 months in white ball cricket but has not played in the longer format of the game for England since a Test against India in July 2014. Overton and Ball are both expected to play in Adelaide, as they battle it out to be the fourth fast bowler in the starting XI, alongside Anderson, Broad and Chris Woakes.