Ben Stokes’ horror Ashes tour of Australia has been further compounded by a side injury that could prevent him from bowling in the SCG Test again.
Stokes was forced off the field just before lunch on day two in Sydney, clutching at his left side after bowling a bouncer at Steve Smith.
The star allrounder returned around 20 minutes after the break, but England officials admitted he was unlikely to bowl again on day two.
Stokes has had an incredible strain put on his body through the tour, asked to bang the ball in short during several spells.
It follows his first major return to cricket after a broken thumb last April and a subsequent break away from the game for personal reasons.
“It (the injury) wasn’t that difficult to predict with the tactics asking him to bowl in a way he is perhaps not used to or his body is not used to,” former England captain Michael Atherton said on Seven.
“Those tactics from Adelaide have continued here as well.
“He was feeling his left side, and at that point after another hard bouncer into the surface, you thought well that is his gone.”
Stokes’ body has at times appeared to battle through his return, forced to manage a knee injury through the Brisbane Test.
England’s star vice-captain has also had underwhelming returns in England’s comprehensive series loss, averaging 71.50 with the ball and 16.83 with the bat.