Peter Siddle will be absent from cricket for the next five months to rest his injured back - but the Australia paceman has rejected suggestions it has been caused by too much bowling. Siddle is suffering from a thoracic back problem, which has worsened over time, and the lay-off rules him out of Australia's tour to New Zealand, starting later this month, and the World Twenty20 in the West Indies in April and May.
He could also miss the two Test matches against Pakistan in England in July. The Victorian, 25, has bowled more than 422 overs since the Ashes tour of England in July, playing 10 Test matches and 14 one-day internationals in those seven months. Siddle, however, says the injury has nothing to do with the amount of cricket he has played. "Every time you go out on the field there's a chance you can get injured, whether you're a batter or a bowler," he said.
"I don't think it's just me, it could happen to anyone in any game. "So it's definitely not the workload. Personally I hadn't played much cricket coming into the last two years, so for me it was more cricket than I'd ever played before. But the schedule was no different to what it had been over the past five or six years. "I hadn't played a lot of cricket for Victoria and I got the [national] call-up and I have been busy, but in that time I've had a lot of rests. I came back from South Africa and missed the one-dayers there and missed the one-dayers in Dubai to rest up. I came back from India early as well."
Siddle joins a growing list of injured Australian pacemen, which includes Brett Lee (elbow), Stuart Clark (back) and Ben Hilfenhaus (knee tendonitis). He plans to rest for a month and undergo three months of rehabilitation before attempting to test his arm. "It is disappointing," he said. "But at the same time it will obviously give me a bit of time to rest, catch up with friends and family and just do some normal things, but get the body right, a lot stronger, fitter and hopefully a new and improved body when I come back."