Warwickshire Bears opener Ian Westwood has fractured his thumb in a pre-season net practice.
The 25-year-old left-hand batsman has already undergone ankle surgery since the end of last season and he is now set for another spell on the sidelines.
Westwood was injured by a rising delivery from the bowling machine in the Edgbaston Cricket Centre, manned by director of cricket Ashley Giles.
Despite the injury blow Westwood is still hopeful he can be fit for the LV County Championship Division Two opener against Worcestershire on April 16.
"It is unlucky to get an injury like this during pre-season but I am hoping that under the guidance of our physiotherapist, Gerhard, that we can minimise the recovery time and I can be ready for the start of season," he told the club's website.
In the best-case scenario Westwood would be able to pick up the bat again in four weeks, but club physio Gerhard Mostert remains upbeat.
"It is annoying for any player not to be able to bat but he can continue with his gym work and make sure he is as fit as possible when his thumb has healed enough for him to resume batting," Mostert added.
There is positive news on Ireland's Boyd Rankin meanwhile, who is recovering well from a stress fracture in his left foot.