Josh Hazlewood, the Australia pacer, has been ruled out of the remainder of the ongoing day-night Test against New Zealand in Perth with a hamstring injury, and is in doubt for the Boxing Day Test of the series as well.
Hazlewood pulled up after sending down eight deliveries on the second day, and was immediately withdrawn from the field. He did not return, although Australia still reduced New Zealand to 109/5.
MRI scans confirmed Hazlewood had a left hamstring strain, and that means he will not bowl again in the rest of the Test. However, should the need arise, it remains to be seen whether he will still bat.
There are fears in the home side that the paceman could be out for the whole series – "looking at that, I reckon it could be his summer over," Ricky Ponting told cricket.com.au – and with the Boxing Day Test just 12 days away, Hazlewood faces a race against time to be fit for the marquee event.
The 28-year-old himself didn't appear too concerned, though. "It's a bit sore this morning,” Hazlewood told Fox Cricket before play on the third day. “I knew as soon as I did it that there was a tear there. It's not too bad so we'll play it by ear the next couple of weeks.
"Bowlers know their bodies pretty well these days, we know when something 's not quite right. I'll take the next couple of weeks as they come. It's a tight series so it will be tough work to get up for the last test. We'll see how we go.”
Hazlewood’s injury means the match has been reduced to a 10-a-side encounter, with New Zealand's debutant paceman Lockie Ferguson also being ruled out midway through the Test with a calf strain.