Fast-bowling casualty ward keeps on growing

AUSTRALIA'S fast-bowling casualty ward continues to get bigger.

Ben Hilfenhaus (suspected side stain) joined James Pattinson (side strain), Josh Hazlewood (foot), Pat Cummins (back), John Hastings and Ryan Harris (knee) on the sidelines yesterday.

Hilfenhaus could not even bowl four overs on day three of the first Test against Sri Lanka, before grimacing in pain and leaving Bellerive Oval for scans.

No results have been released as yet.Debate is split over whether Australia's fast bowlers are being rested too often, particularly after consistent performer Peter Siddle withdrew from his side's third Test loss to South Africa with fatigue.

Hilfenhaus was also rested from that game, and it now appears that was a good decision.

It has been a wretched summer for Hilfenhaus so far after struggling to take a wicket of note against the South Africans, following an impressive 2011/12 series against the touring Indians.

The situation is similar to James Pattinson's injury early in the Adelaide Test.

Hilfenhaus's teammates struggled to make inroads without his experience and swing bowling yesterday, with Tillakaratne Dilshan (147) and Angelo Mathews (75) combining for a 161-run partnership.

Hilfenhaus's new-ball partner Mitchell Starc was expensive, continually swatted away to the boundary, after the injured Tasmanian started well with 1-30 from 12.2 overs, before breaking down.

Teenager Cummins is now aiming to recover from stress fractures to his back in time for next year's Ashes tour of England.

Hazlewood faces another month out with a foot problem, while Harris put off his hoped-for Big Bash League return and hopes to play again when Queensland's domestic season resumes in late January.

Topics:  cricket injury

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