Aug 22 2013
Jackson Bird has become the latest Australia seamer to suffer fitness problems and is flying home from the Ashes tour with a back problem.
Bird, who played just once in the series in the fourth Test at Durham, will leave England a few days early after experiencing pain in his lower back.
While the news has no effect on the final match of the Ashes, or the subsequent one-day series which Bird was not picked for, it continues a worrying recent trend for their seamers.
James Pattinson returned to Australia after two Tests against England due to a stress fracture, highly-rated paceman Pat Cummins has already been ruled out of the return series with a back problem of his own and Ryan Harris - although currently fit - has been unavailable for more matches than he has played due to recurring complaints.
Australia physio Alex Kountouris said: "Jackson has had low back pain over the past week of the Ashes tour and will return to Australia to begin the process of investigating the source of the pain and rehabilitation."