Luckless fast bowler Pat Cummins says his latest injury setback is the worst-case scenario as he prepares for a second successive Test summer without cricket.
Cummins was diagnosed with a bone stress injury of the lower back on Friday, the latest injury concern for Australia's young star.
The 19-year-old returned from the Sydney Sixers' triumph at the Champions League Twenty20 tournament in South Africa this week complaining of rib soreness.
Cummins said it was discussed whether his frail body should be put through the tournament and, ultimately, decided it would be better to continue playing in South Africa.
''To play in such a worldwide tournament like that and a high-intensity tournament like that wasn't only going to be good for my body but it was going to be good for form and experience,'' he said on Friday.
''So we kind of weighed it up and [decided] staying there was going to be better.''
Because of Cummins' injury-plagued history, on his return, Cricket Australia sent him for scans - leading to the worst possible news.
''Pretty much the worst-case scenario was finding a little bit of a crack there and there was - and I guess there's nothing else to do but to wait a couple of months,'' Cummins said.
''It was pretty unexpected. I came back from South Africa and I felt pretty good and thought it was just a precautionary scan and unfortunately they found something.''
Cummins missed all of the summer Test series last season with a mystery heel complaint and was also sent home early from Australia's one-day tour of England in June, where he played just one game before succumbing to a side strain.
''It's tough. But I guess time is on my side,'' Cummins said.
This latest injury will extend Cummins' lengthy streak without first-class cricket back to his man-of-the-match debut Test against South Africa in November last year. He said having almost exclusively played the shorter forms of the game for the past 18 months had nothing to do with his injury.
But Cricket Australia will again take the cotton-wool approach, shutting him down for the remainder of the domestic season.
''Because of his age and past history, we decided to investigate the source of the pain and, unfortunately, he has an early-stage stress fracture of his spine, confirmed by scans,'' Australian team physiotherapist Alex Kountouris said in a statement.
''We expect he will recover fully from this injury and will be closely monitored to determine his return to the playing field, but expect that he will miss most of the 2012-13 domestic cricket season.'' AAP