England and Durham fast bowler Graham Onions is to undergo back surgery in a bid to cure an ongoing back injury which will rule him out of cricket until the middle of next summer.
The operation, next Monday (6th September) will rule him out of all cricket for up to nine months and comes after extensive treatment and rehabilitation for a stress fracture-related injury.
"Graham has been suffering from ongoing discomfort due to stress fractures on both sides of his back. We have thoroughly exhausted all avenues of conservative treatment and rehabilitation with surgery very much seen as a last resort," ECB Chief Medical Officer Nick Peirce said.
"Unfortunately Graham has not responded to these forms of treatment and as a result we have no option left but to undertake a course of treatment involving surgery.
"The surgery Graham faces is a relatively significant operation and his rehabilitation will see him ruled out of all cricket for approximately up to nine months. His rehabilitation will be overseen and carried out by the ECB medical team in conjunction with the medical staff at Durham."
Onions added: "Obviously I'm shattered to have been ruled out of the Ashes with the prospect of a lengthy recovery period. After experiencing the euphoria of being part of an Ashes winning England team last year I was determined to get myself fit for selection ahead of this winter's tour of Australia. Unfortunately that's not to be and even though we have tried every possible form of treatment, surgery is the only option left.
"While I'm devastated to be facing such a long lay off from cricket I'm determined to overcome this setback and make sure I get back bowling again next year and work my way back into England calculations. It's been a difficult period for me but I realise that I have to have this operation if I want to play cricket again. I want to thank the ECB medical team for all their ongoing hard work and support."
Onions, who has played eight Tests and four One-Day Internationals for his country, has not played first-class cricket since January 2010, during the third Test against South Africa in Cape Town, having not featured in one-day cricket since November 2009.
© Cricket World 2010