The Australian women's cricket team have suffered yet another blow ahead of this summer's Ashes series after star spinner Sophie Molineux was struck down by a stress fracture in her right foot.
Molineux suffered the injury during the last week of the WBBL, and has been ruled out of the Ashes.
Australian team doctor Pip Inge said Molineux is currently in a moon boot, but it's hopeful the 23-year-old will be able to play in March's 50-over World Cup in New Zealand.
"Sophie's focus now shifts to her rehabilitation plan which means she'll be unavailable for any upcoming domestic matches as well as the Ashes in January," Inge said.
"At this stage we are aiming to have Sophie available for the ICC Women's World Cup in New Zealand in March."
The injury to Molineux comes less than two months after legspinner Georgia Wareham ruptured the ACL in her left knee, ruling her out of the World Cup, Ashes, and Commonwealth Games campaigns.
This summer's Ashes series comprises of one Test, three one-dayers, and three T20s.
The Test match starts on January 27 at Manuka Oval in Canberra.
Molineux has excelled in her two Tests, nine ODIs, and 27 T20s for Australia, and her absence combined with that of Wareham is a big blow to the team's spin stocks.
But Australia still have Jess Jonassen, Amanda Jade-Wellington, and Alana King to call upon in the spin department.
Molineux carried her injury into the Melbourne Renegades' Challenger final loss to the Adelaide Strikers late last month.
She didn't bat despite her team's early collapse, and returned expensive figures of 0-22 from two overs with the ball.
It was revealed during the match that Molineux had been in a moon boot in the lead-up to the clash.
Australian Associated Press