Veteran paceman Peter Siddle has been ruled out of the second test with a back injury, meaning Australia may need to make three changes to the lineup that lost the series-opening match by 177 runs to South Africa.
Cricket Australia said Siddle, who was coming back from eight months out recovering from back stress fractures, had aggravated his back problems. The 31-year-old paceman bowled 26 overs in the second innings in Perth as the South African batsmen dominated, taking 2-62.
Jackson Bird has been drafted into the squad as standby injury cover. Uncapped Joe Mennie, who was 12th man in Perth, is another option to be called into the pace attack that is led by Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood.
“While we expect bowlers to be sore after test matches, this was slightly worse than we expected and given that he was returning from a significant back injury,” Australia team physiotherapist David Beakley said. “Scans demonstrated some low grade bone oedema around his old stress fracture that is likely to be a flare up of his previous lower back injury.”
Opener batsman Shaun Marsh broke a finger in the first test and has been ruled out of the series, while middle-order batsman Adam Voges sustained a hamstring injury while fielding.
Joe Burns and Callum Ferguson have been added to the Australia squad as potential replacements.
South Africa lost pace spearhead Dale Steyn to a right shoulder injury during the first test, ruling him out of the series.