Reece Topley is devastated after suffering stress fracture in his back but the injury is better than first feared

England's Reece Topley bowls during a practice session a day ahead of the ICC Twenty20 2016 Cricket

England's Reece Topley bowls during a practice session a day ahead of the ICC Twenty20 2016 Cricket World Cup semi-final match against New Zealand, at the Feroz Shah Kotla cricket stadium in New Delhi, India, Tuesday, March 29, 2016. (AP Photo/Tsering Topgyal) - Credit: AP

Reece Topley is ‘absolutely devastated’ after a partial stress fracture in his back ruled him out for up to three months, but there is also a sense of relief after the prognosis turned out to be better than first feared.

The injury to his L4 vertebrae comes at a time when the Ipswich bowler was stepping up his return, after fracturing his hand on the first day of Hampshire’s County Championship season, while batting against Warwickshire, and is set to keep him sidelined until the start of August at the earliest.

Topley originally feared he would be ruled out for the entire season, but after it was confirmed he has suffered a partial stress fracture rather than a complete fracture, he is optimistic of a return to county cricket in August.

The injury rules the former Essex man out of England’s one day clashes with Sri Lanka and makes him a major doubt for the series with Pakistan in August, but Topley is more concerned about returning to form with Hampshire, given he’s yet to bowl a ball for his new county.

“I’m absolutely devastated but I have to remember that the last six months have been really special for me,” he said.

“I’ve played for England 16 times and I have to keep pinching myself and reminding myself of that, especially at hard times like this.

“I can’t dwell on the England side of things at the moment, not until I recover and recommence bowling well for Hampshire.

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“I can’t wait to get out there again and play for Hampshire.”

Topley has a history of back trouble having been sidelined with L3 vertebrae fractures in 2013 and 2014, while with Essex, and while the current partial stress fracture is not as serious, continuing to play would mean it is only a matter of time before further damage is done.

After a few weeks of complete rest he will return to bowling drills, with a return to action in mid-to-late August the realistic target.