London: Australia seamer Jackson Bird will be unable to play at all for Northamptonshire this season because of a back injury, the English county confirmed Monday.
The 27-year-old Test bowler was due to play for the Midlands side in their opening six matches of the first-class County Championship competition.
However, he has played just one first-class match -- for Tasmania earlier this month -- since making the last of his three Test appearances, away to England at Chester-le-Street in August.
Bird subsequently missed Australia`s Test series in South Africa earlier this year and has now been told to rest his back for four months.
Northamptonshire, promoted from the Second Division last season, have said they are close to signing a replacement overseas Test bowler for the County Championship and domestic Twenty20 competitions.
"Over the weekend, we have made an offer to another overseas bowler with Test Match experience," a club statement said.
"We hope we are at advanced stages of securing a signed contract for that player to join us from the start of the season, for both LV= County Championship and NatWest T20 Blast cricket."
Bird`s absence is the latest injury blow to hit Northamptonshire, with the Wantage Road side already without limited overs captain Alex Wakely for the whole season because of a ruptured Achilles tendon and all-rounder David Willey, son of former England batsman and Test umpire Peter Willey, set to miss the opening matches with a back problem.
Northamptonshire begin their First Division campaign at home to Durham with a four-day match at Wantage Road starting on April 13.