Worcestershire have been dealt another injury setback with the news that seamer Kabir Ali has been ruled out for up to six weeks with a torn hamstring.
The England paceman, named in the provisional squad of 30 for the Twenty20 World Cup, joins new-ball partner Simon Jones on the injury list and could be out of action until the start of June.
Scans revealed that Kabir, whose 59 championship wickets were key to the Royals sealing promotion to Division One last term, tore his left hamstring during the Friends Provident Trophy clash with Hampshire at The Rose Bowl last Sunday.
Worcestershire director of cricket Steve Rhodes confirmed: "The results are actually better than we expected but Kabir has got a small tear in his left hamstring.
"It is likely to keep him out of action for four to six weeks.
"That should hopefully mean that for the second half of the season, we will have both Kabir and Simon Jones fresh and raring to go."
Kabir and Jones took 101 championship wickets between them in 2008 and their absence puts a bigger responsibility on Australian paceman Ashley Noffke who is the county's overseas player.