Sydney [Australia], December 8 (ANI): Josh Hazlewood's participation in the opening game of the series against South Africa is in doubt after being forced to withdraw from the second Test against the West Indies in Adelaide due to a side strain.
His absence was initially thought to be because of general soreness but additional examination revealed side strain. After the West Indies series, he will be evaluated once more on his return to Sydney on Friday for rehabilitation.
Australia earlier named Michael Neser as Hazlewood's replacement for the second test against the West Indies. The replacement is the second for the Aussies after Scott Boland was roped in for injured Pat Cummins.
Brisbane will host the opening match versus South Africa on December 17.
Hazlewood suffered a similar setback last summer after he sustained a side strain against England at the Gabba and missed the remainder of the Ashes.
Hazlewood had played just once on the tours of Pakistan and Sri Lanka, in Rawalpindi, with Australia choosing to field two frontline spinners.
The Perth Test last week was his second appearance since the Brisbane match against England.
The difficulties in managing the bowlers' workloads throughout a busy schedule, which includes five Test matches in less than five weeks, are highlighted by the fact that Australia have already lost two of their key pacers early in the season.
Though their top fast bowlers won't feature in the BBL in January, there won't be much of a rest before they travel to India for four Test matches. The BCCI announced the schedule on Thursday. The first Test will start on February 9 in Nagpur, followed by games in Delhi, Dharamsala, and Ahmedabad, with the final Test beginning on March 9.
It's unclear whether Australia will use Cameron Green and three frontline quicks in all of those games.
Mitchell Starc was the first-choice quick who was kept in the starting lineup against the West Indies, just like it was in Adelaide last year. He played in all ten games against England, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka during the past several years, displaying exceptional tenacity.
Prior to the Adelaide Test, the squad also included Lance Morris, a Western Australia quick who has never played but is thought to be the fastest bowler in the country. (ANI)