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    Pat Cummins out for 2nd straight Test season

    Melbourne: Cricket Australia said on Friday that teenage fast bowler Pat Cummins has a bone stress injury in his lower back and will miss a second consecutive Test season.

    Physiotherapist Alex Kountouris said in a statement that Cummins, who missed all of the Test series last season with a heel injury, "has he has an early stage stress fracture of his spine, confirmed by scans."

    Over the past 18 months, Cummins has almost exclusively played the shorter forms of the game, picking up his most-recent injury during the Sydney Sixers' Champions League Twenty20 tournament victory in South Africa. He also played for Australia in the Twenty20 World Cup in Sri Lanka.

    The 19-year-old Cummins also picked up a side strain on Australia's one-day tour of England in June, playing just one game.

    "Because of his age and past history we decided to investigate ... Pat had a spine bone stress injury a few years ago but the current injury is new and in an entirely different part of the spine.," Kountouris said. "We expect he will recover fully from this injury and will be closely monitored to determine his return to the playing field, but expect that he will miss most of the 2012-13 domestic cricket season."

    In other Australian injury news a week away from the start of the first Test against South Africa in Brisbane, Cricket Australia withdrew former captain Ricky Ponting from Tasmania's Sheffield Shield domestic match Friday because of hamstring soreness.

    "This is a precautionary move to ensure Ricky has the best possible preparation," team performance general manager Pat Howard said. "We expect Ricky to be fit for the first Test."