Ben Duckett says he is ‘absolutely gutted’ after being ruled out for up to three months with a hand injury.
Duckett will have surgery next Monday and is now in a race against time to be fit for the start of the new season at Northants.
The County Championship Division Two campaign begins on April 13, with Northants taking on Middlesex at Lord’s.
But Duckett is said to need two to three months to recover from the surgery, meaning he will be a doubt for the season opener.
He tweeted: “I’m absolutely gutted to be missing the next few months of cricket... but in the long term I feel it’s the right decision to get my hand operated on. Thank you for all the messages and I look forward to being fit for a big summer.”
Duckett will definitely miss the North v South Series, which will take place in Barbados next month.
The 23-year-old broke his finger towards the end of last season and was unable to feature in Northants’ final four-day game of 2017.
He managed to make it onto England Lions’ tour of Australia in December, but was suspended after pouring a drink over team-mate James Anderson.
Duckett was then left out of the Lions squad to play West Indies and his return to action will now be delayed further after aggravating his hand injury in training last month.