Worcestershire CCC's promising paceman Josh Tongue is to undergo surgery later this month after suffering a lumbar spine injury.
The 19-year-old will then spend the winter undergoing rehabilitation work with the aim of returning to action at the start of the 2017 season.
Academy product Tongue has been out of action since withdrawing from the England Under-19 squad in late July after feeling soreness in his back following his participation in a two day warm-up match with Unicorns at Loughborough.
He has seen a specialist and it has been decided he will have an operation on September 12.
Worcestershire CCC first team physiotherapist Ben Davies confirmed: "Josh Tongue has been to see a highly regarded specialist for a lumbar spine injury.
"It has been decided he will undergo surgery September 12 and use the winter to rehab and condition with a view to returning to bowling at the start of next season."
Tongue is regarded as one of Worcestershire's brightest prospects and has been part of the Pathway since playing as a six-year-old at Under-10 level.
He made his first team debut against Oxford MCCU in April and picked up four wickets but then suffered a stress reaction in one of his lumbar vertebrae during a second team game.
Tongue was expected to be side-lined for 12 weeks but his excellent work ethic helped him to return ahead of schedule.
He signed a new three year contract in July and was included in the senior squad for the Specsavers County Championship clash at Northampton before his latest injury after being chosen for the England Under-19s to face Sri Lanka.