Usman Khawaja out for nine months
Australia batsman Usman Khawaja won't play again this summer and is also out of contention for next year's Ashes tour after suffering a serious knee injury in an innocuous training drill while preparing for this summer's Big Bash League with Sydney Thunder.
Falling awkwardly after attempting an overhead catch, Khawaja tore the anterior cruciate ligament of his left knee and will now require a full reconstruction. The injury is a grievous blow not only to the Thunder but also Australia's selectors, who were looking towards Khawaja as one of the players to bolster their batting stocks in coming years.
Khawaja most recently played for Australia on the 2013 Ashes tour, and spent part of this year's winter playing for Lancashire in division one of the country championship. Those experiences will not be added to during the 2015 northern summer, as it will take around nine months for Khawaja to be ready to return.
"We are very disappointed that Usman will not be taking the field for us this summer and we wish him well with his recovery," Sydney Thunder general manager Nick Cummins said. "While his presence in the middle will be missed, he will remain with the Thunder and continue to contribute to the team with an off-field role.
"At this stage we will not be replacing Usman in the squad. We are confident in the group of batsmen we have assembled and look forward to seeing one of our younger players step up to fill his place."
Serious knee injuries are a rarity for batsmen. Callum Ferguson suffered one in the field during the 2009 Champions Trophy final in South Africa, and lost his Australia ODI place as a result. In 1996, Matthew Elliott required surgery after colliding with Mark Waugh when they had a running mix-up at the SCG.