Cricket Australia will adopt a conservative approach to James Pattinson's latest back injury, but there is hope the paceman will return during this Sheffield Shield season.
Pattinson, an incumbent member of the Test attack, was slated to represent Australia A in their four-day clash with England Lions that starts at the MCG on Saturday.
The right-armer pulled up with a sore back and hips after recently playing grade cricket.
Pattinson was on Tuesday scratched from this week's pink-ball game, with NSW quick Harry Conway taking his place in the squad.
Medicos are yet to send Pattinson for scans and are hopeful he will quickly recover by resting.
The 29-year-old's horrible history of back injuries will ensure they monitor the minor niggle closely and approach Pattinson's comeback cautiously.
But at this stage there is no prospect of Pattinson, whose final two chances to play Shield cricket this summer are games starting on March 6 and 19, being wrapped in cotton wool.
Pattinson underwent spinal surgery in 2017 and wondered during an extended stint on the sidelines as to whether recurring back woes would bring a premature end to his international career.
He made his long-awaited international return during last year's Ashes tour, while he proved a potent replacement for Josh Hazlewood during this summer's Tests at the MCG and SCG.
Pattinson's enforced omission is set to result in Australia A unleashing an attack of Michael Neser, Jackson Bird, Mark Steketee and Mitchell Swepson.
Australia A captain Moises Henriques, Marcus Harris, Usman Khawaja, Kurtis Patterson and Marcus Stoinis are some of the other notable Test hopefuls involved in the game.
Australian Associated Press