Australia's Ashes woes have continued as fast bowler James Pattinson was ruled out for the rest of the series. 

Pattinson, who was part of the team in the losses at both Trent Bridge and Lords, has a stress fracture in his lower back.

Pattinson, the last man out at Lords on Sunday as England won by 347 runs to take a 2-0 lead, complained of hip and back soreness at the close of play on Sunday and underwent tests that confirmed Australia's worst fears on Monday. The tests confirmed early signs of a stress fracture that rule him out of the rest of the tour of England.

Cricket Australia doctor Peter Brukner said that the aim was to have Pattinson fit again for the Ashes in Australia this winter. 

Pat Howard, the Cricket Australia performance manager expressed disappointment but said that the selectors had many alternative options as they had: "five bowlers fit and ready to perform in England" and also "several players performing for Australia A and are available to be called up at any stage". 

Jackson Bird and Mitchell Starc are the most likely candidates to replace Pattinson but Pat Cummins and Josh Hazelwood, both currently with Australia A, have impressed in the past and remain in contention.

Pattinson will travel with the squad for the tour match at Hove, then up to Manchester for the Old Trafford test that begins on August 1st, before returning to Australia to continue his rehabilitation.

Earlier this year, Pattinson was one of four Australian players dropped for failing to complete a homework assignment set by former coach Mickey Arthur during the tour of India.

So far in the Ashes, Pattinson has shown the fiery and passionate character that has seen him billed as one of Australia' top fast bowling hopes. However, his form with the ball has been disappointing, especially at Lords. He has taken just 7 wickets in two matches at an average of nearly 44 and his patchy form made it likely that his place would have come under threat for the Third Test, as Australia may look to choose two specialist spinners on a turning pitch at Old Trafford.

Like many of Australia's lower order batsmen, Pattinson has impressed with the bat. In fact, his average of 36 is the highest of the 13 Australians to play at Trent Bridge or Lords.


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