England paceman Graham Onions requires a back operation and is expected to be sidelined for another nine months.
Onions has not played since the tour of South Africa in January due to a persistent problem that has failed to respond to non-surgical treatment.
"Graham has been suffering from ongoing discomfort due to stress fractures on both sides of his back," said ECB chief medical officer Dr Nick Peirce.
"We have thoroughly exhausted all avenues of conservative treatment and rehabilitation with surgery very much seen as a last resort.
"Unfortunately Graham has not responded to these forms of treatment and as a result we have no option left but to undertake a course of treatment involving surgery.
"The surgery Graham faces is a relatively significant operation and his rehabilitation will see him ruled out of all cricket for approximately up to nine months.
"His rehabilitation will be overseen and carried out by the ECB medical team in conjunction with the medical staff at Durham."
Onions has taken 28 wickets in eight Tests and was a key performer in England's Ashes victory on home soil in 2009.
But the Durham seamer's career has since been derailed by fitness problems and he admits the latest development has left him "devastated".
"Obviously I'm shattered to have been ruled out of the Ashes with the prospect of a lengthy recovery period," said Onions.
"After experiencing the euphoria of being part of an Ashes winning England team last year I was determined to get myself fit for selection ahead of this winter's tour of Australia.
"Unfortunately that's not to be and even though we have tried every possible form of treatment, surgery is the only option left.
"While I'm devastated to be facing such a long lay off from cricket I'm determined to overcome this setback and make sure I get back bowling again next year and work my way back into England calculations.
"It's been a difficult period for me but I realise that I have to have this operation if I want to play cricket again. I want to thank the ECB medical team for all their ongoing hard work and support."