SYDNEY - Injury-prone Australia quick bowler James Pattinson is set to have spinal surgery in a last-ditch effort to fix a recurring problem that has dogged him for years.
A lower back stress fracture kept the 27-year-old out of Australia's recent tour to Bangladesh and he will also miss the upcoming Ashes series against England.
Cricket Australia's sports science chief Alex Kountouris said they were talking with several New Zealand specialists, including one who helped save paceman Shane Bond's career.
"He's got four stress fractures that haven't healed since his teenage years," Kountouris told The Australian newspaper Wednesday of Pattinson.
"What he's doing is getting bone stress on the healthy part of the bone. And that one part of the bone keeps breaking."
CA medical staff have yet to sign off on spinal surgery as the best option, but "we're a long way down the track of looking at it".
"It doesn't sound like there's a lot to lose," said Kountouris.
"There's obviously some complications that could possibly happen, there's concerns with any sort of surgery, but that's probably the way we're going to go."
Injuries have limited Pattinson to 17 Tests since his 2011 debut and he has not played since July 1 when he represented Nottinghamshire in the final of England's one-day tournament against Surrey at Lord's.