Josh Hazlewood’s hopes of playing the fifth Ashes Test have nosedived.
Hazlewood was unable to train on Tuesday due to sore shins.
The 24-year-old took part it in a throwing drill but was otherwise on restricted duties at The Oval, where the series finale starts on Thursday.
Missing the squad’s final major session before the dead rubber does not bode well for Hazlewood.
The NSW paceman’s place in the side was already in some doubt after he struggled for control at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge.
Pat Cummins or Peter Siddle will be recalled to the Test XI if Hazlewood is out.
Selectors are also expected to recall Mitch Marsh, with coach Darren Lehmann admitting it was a mistake to drop him for the fourth Test.
Siddle has been with the squad since they departed for the West Indies in May, while Cummins was summoned after Ryan Harris’ retirement.
Cummins starred for Australia in their matcg against Northamptonshire.
He bowled well on Saturday then struck an unbeaten 82 on Sunday after a top-order collapse of 5-74.
“I haven’t heard anything but from the last couple of weeks I’ve seen Peter Siddle bowl in the nets and he’s bowled beautifully,” Cummins said on Sunday.
“So if they do go for a change I guess we’re both ready.
“If a game comes along it will be a bonus and I’ll be ready to go, but I didn’t have any big expectations when I came over.”
Cummins was named man of the match in his one and only Test, at Johannesburg in 2011.
Foot and back injuries have since stalled the 22-year-old’s progress.
Recent tour matches in Northampton and Derby represent Cummins’ only first-class experience in two years, but he feels ready for the rigours of Test cricket.
“The body felt perfect. No niggle or anything, just general fast bowlers’ wear and tear,” Cummins said.
“I was speaking to the physio today and we were trying to work it out … I’ve been bowling for two years straight and I think I’ve missed one week out of the two years.
“And I’ve had no niggles or anything, so I can’t be any more ready if I get the call up.”
Siddle limped off the field on Saturday, but bowled in the nets on Tuesday.