Worcestershire's promising paceman Josh Tongue is expected to return to action in 12 weeks after suffering a back injury during the Second Eleven game with Sussex Seconds at Kidderminster last week.

County Academy product Tongue has sustained a stress reaction in one of his lumbar vertebrae.

The 18-year-old made a promising first team debut in the first class fixture against Oxford MCCU at The Parks last month but now faces a spell on the side-lines.

Worcestershire first team physiotherapist Ben Davies said: "Josh aggravated his lower back in a second team game last week.

"He went for an MRI scan and unfortunately he has a stress reaction to one of the lumbar vertebrae in his back.

"Basically it means a small part of the bone has become aggravated in his spine so it is not as serious as a fracture, but it would get to the point if we let him carry on bowling.

"We've caught it before it becomes a more serious injury"

Davies added: "We were looking at his workloads and he actually had a very light week about three weeks ago when we had a lot of rain so he only bowled four overs in the whole week. This was unavoidable

"However, getting back into second team cricket after that and playing a game and shooting up to 15 overs in a day meant a spike in workload. A young seamer plus a spike in workload can cause a stress reaction, which is unfortunate for Josh.

"I think we are looking at around 12 weeks for a return to playing from now."