Melbourne: Pat Cummins is unlikely to be fit until at least the World Twenty20 in India next year as he battles to recover from a third stress fracture in his lower back in three years.
The highly rated 22-year-old has endured a terrible run of injuries since his sole test against South Africa in 2011 and his latest back problem is a crushing blow for a bowler who had enjoyed a rare injury-free period over the past year.
Having already missed large slabs of international cricket, Cummins was philosophical about another long stint on the sidelines.
"I`m not really worried now, compared to a couple of years ago," Cummins said in quotes published by Fairfax Media.
"The fact I was able to come back after bowling a heavy schedule over two years, and to have it culminate in a really successful one day international series at the back end of it means I`m not worried at all.
"I know I can do it. While we haven`t set out a rehab plan yet, and things will obviously be dictated by my recovery, the Twenty20 World Championship in India early next year has been targeted as a goal for me to try and return for.
"I will be doing all of my rehab sessions with that tournament in mind."
The World T20 will be held in India from March 11-April 3, meaning Cummins is set to miss Australia`s entire cricket programme at home and the tour of New Zealand in February.
Cummins was named in Australia`s 15-man squad for the two-test tour of Bangladesh next month but has been replaced by fast-bowling all-rounder James Faulkner.