Worcestershire could be without Ben Twohig for the entire season after he sustained a serious injury. Twohig, the 20-year-old left-arm spinner, is understood to have suffered the anterior cruciate ligament injury while playing five-a-side football.
A former England Under-19 player, Twohig made his List A and first-class debuts last season and did well enough to win a run of games in Worcestershire's Championship side towards the end of the season.
It is entirely possible the injury will renew debate over the wisdom of professional cricketers playing football. Ashley Giles, the director of England's men's teams, had already made it clear he does not favour the idea.
"We've got to keep our best players on the park and I'm not sure playing football is the best way of going about that," he told ESPNcricinfo in January. "If you look at what football does, the benefits from a physiological and fun point of view are outstripped by the dangers."
This injury was not sustained during a training or warm-up session, though. It is understood Twohig was playing a five-a-side game with friends. It is unclear if he was permitted to take part in such a game.