Three of Australia's four frontline fast bowlers are in a race to be fit for the World Cup after Jhye Richardson was admitted into a growing casualty ward.
Richardson will leave the United Arab Emirates on Tuesday and head home to Perth, having dislocated his right shoulder while fielding in Australia's eight-wicket win over Pakistan in game two of their one-day series in Sharjah. He landed awkwardly while fielding the ball in the deep and could now face surgery.
The injury could not have come at a worse time for the 22-year-old, who has been the bowling find of the summer and had emerged as a key member of Australia's World Cup plans.
The selectors will meet early next month to select a 15-man squad, which must be confirmed to the International Cricket Council by April 23. CA then has until May 23 to withdraw players without the need of approval from the World Cup's event technical committee. Changes after the latter date will require medical certificates and the approval of the technical committee.
This means that Richardson, who made his Test debut in January, could still be named next month but withdrawn after that date should he not heal in time.
Teammate Nathan Lyon said the Australians hoped Richardson would be fit in time for the World Cup opener against Afghanistan on June 1.
"It's very disappointing, especially off the back of the summer that Jhye's had. He's had a really good Shield season for WA then a pretty special Test series against Sri Lanka," he said.
"The way he's been performing has been pretty impressive. Fingers crossed he can be fit for the World Cup and be in the selection [mix] there."
Richardson had taken 2-16 off five overs before he was hurt on Sunday. He has been Australia's best ODI bowler this year, claiming 17 wickets at 21.23.
His issues come as Josh Hazlewood and Mitch Starc remain in a race to prove their fitness.
Hazlewood has been battling a back problem since the Sydney Test against India and is seen as having a tougher fight than Starc to make the sport's showpiece tournament. Starc, dealing with a pectoral issue, also had to withdraw from the one-day series against India and Pakistan but officials are hopeful he will be fit for the pre-tour training camp in Brisbane in May.
Richardson won't be replaced for the three remaining matches against Pakistan, potentially giving fellow quicks Nathan Coulter-Nile, Kane Richardson and Jason Behrendorff more of an opportunity to forge a World Cup berth.