Worcestershire's County Championship Division One relegation fight will not include Joe Leach from now on after the club captain succumbed to a stress fracture of the back.
The injury means Leach misses the rest of the 2018 season and follows the sidelining of fellow pace bowler Josh Tongue to a stress reaction in his left foot.
It is a big blow and Joe is gutted and quite upset at the minute.Kevin Sharp
Leach was sent for a CT scan after he felt soreness in his back during the Rapids' thrilling Royal London One-Day Cup win over Warwickshire at Edgbaston last week.
That result means the Rapids are preparing for a home semi-final against either Nottinghamshire or Kent on Sunday, with Worcs 1212/1 to win the tournament, while Hampshire are priced at 4/6.
"It is a big blow and Joe is gutted and quite upset at the minute. He has played such a major part for the club over the last few years," said Worcs head coach Kevin Sharp.
"It is life. Bowling is a very physical job. Joe has had very few injuries but very rarely do bowlers go through their career without some sort of injury.
"We now have to regroup a bit. We have lost our captain for the rest of the season and we will have a think about things and sort that out over the next week.
"The lads will also be gutted but there is a great spirit in this squad and they will want to do it for Joe on Sunday.
"It means there will be an opening for others that might not have had an opportunity. We want the lads to stand up and be counted - and I'm sure they will."
Worcestershire are bottom of Division One following their promotion last summer, having lost of four of five matches to lie 27 points adrift of safety.
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