James Pattinson's cursed injury run has continued, with the Australian quick picking up a side strain that looms as the latest hurdle in his bid to make a Test return in the Ashes.
Pattinson, who hasn't played for Australia since 2016 because of a series of injuries, is expected to miss the remainder of this summer's Big Bash for Brisbane as a result of the blow.
The 28-year-old only made his return to first-class cricket this summer after a 15-month stint out that included spinal surgery in 2017.
However he was hurt again in the Heat's loss to the Melbourne Renegades on Thursday night, before scans confirmed a side strain injury.
"We'll monitor his recovery closely as he returns but the most likely scenario is that he will not be ready to play in time,'' Heat coach Daniel Vettori said.
The injury comes after the express quick declared his desire in November to return for this year's Ashes.
One of Australia's most dangerous paceman in his prime, Pattinson has taken 70 wickets in 17 Tests at an average of 26.15.
He's also been solid on return this season, taking nine wickets at 33 Victoria in the Sheffield Shield as well as another four for the Heat in the BBL.
The right-armer will likely be desperate to return in time for the last four Shield rounds of the season, which begin on February 23 for Victoria against Queensland.
Meanwhile Heat allrounder Ben Cutting has been cleared to play in Brisbane's return match against the Renegades on Sunday, despite requiring five stitches for a blow to his forehead while attempting to take a catch.
Australian Associated Press