OLLY STONE is out for the season with a back stress fracture in the latest shattering blow to England’s Ashes plans.
Quickie Stone, 27, was diagnosed with the problem after bowling 25 overs in the Second Test defeat to New Zealand.
It is the third stress fracture of Stone’s injury-cursed career and England team medics say he will not play again this summer.
In Stone’s absence, England have chosen Sussex left-armer George Garton for the first time for three one-day internationals against Sri Lanka starting at the end of the month.
England head coach Chris Silverwood and captain Joe Root regard high pace as their chief weapon in Australia this winter – but the strategy is crumbling.
Jofra Archer is recovering from elbow surgery and has missed eleven of England’s last 17 Tests while Mark Wood struggles to play back-to-back Tests.
Before the Ashes, England have a five-Test series at home to world No1-ranked India and Root’s team is starting to wobble.
Silverwood admitted: “Olly has been diagnosed with a stress fracture of his lower back and will miss the rest of the summer.
“It’s a great shame as Olly was showing real promise with the ball and would have been part of our selection plans for the one-day series against Sri Lanka.”
As if the fast bowling injuries were not bad enough, Silverwood and Root are also worried by the deficiencies of England’s batting exposed by the Kiwis.
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Ben Stokes was not considered because of his broken left index finger but he is scheduled to return for Durham in the Twenty20 Blast on Sunday.
England hope to have him back for three T20s against Pakistan next month.
Saqib Mahmood (abdominal) and Reece Topley (side strain) are also injured – meaning a call-up for Garton.
Garton first played for England Lions in 2016 and helped out as a net bowler for a couple of weeks on England’s last Ashes tour in 2017-18.
Silverwood added: “We’ve been monitoring the progress of George Garton for quite some time.
“He’s been a significant part of Sussex’s bowling unit in white-ball cricket for an extended period.
“His ability to bowl quick with his point of difference being a left-armer certainly gives us options in this series.
“This ODI series is important as we continue to build momentum ahead of the 2023 World Cup.
“Despite some injuries, the squad I’ve selected is strong and gives us depth across all departments.”
England ODI squad v Sri Lanka: Roy, Bairstow, Root, Morgan (capt), Billings, Livingstone, Buttler (wkt), Moeen, S. Curran, T. Curran, Dawson, Woakes, Willey, Rashid, Wood, Garton.