Wicketkeeper Matt Prior has been ruled out of England’s final Ashes warm-up match in Sydney with a calf muscle injury.
Scan results on Tuesday revealed Prior suffered a low-grade tear during last week’s tour match against Australia A in Hobart.
He will be replaced by Jonny Bairstow for the four-day fixture against an Australian Invitational XI at the SCG from Wednesday.
But England batsman Ian Bell is confident the veteran keeper will be fit for the opening Test at the Gabba in just 10 days time.
“Matt has been a key part of our success over the last few years and obviously we want him to get recovered as quick as possible,” Bell told reporters on Tuesday.
“There’s still a bit of time (before the Test).
“Matt’s got himself in fantastic condition for this tour and he’ll be very good with his rehab so I’ve got every faith he’ll be fully fit for Brisbane.”
Prior is one of two injury concerns for England, with star batsman Kevin Pietersen receiving a cortisone injection in his knee following the Hobart match.
Bell said while the situation was “not ideal”, it would give back up players like Bairstow some time in the middle before the Ashes series begins.
“We’ve seen in the past how important it is to get the whole of the squad playing cricket before the series starts,” he said.