England paceman Craig Overton is out of the fourth Ashes Test against Australia with a fractured rib, officials said on Sunday.

The England and Wales Cricket Board confirmed he would not play in the Melbourne Test, starting on Boxing Day.

Uncapped fast bowler Tom Curran will reportedly make his debut to replace him, although fellow speedster Mark Wood has trained with the team this week.

Overton, who made his Test debut in Adelaide this month, was diagnosed with a cracked rib during the third Test in Perth.

He was struck when batting in Adelaide and exacerbated the injury when he tumbled while attempting to take a catch off his own bowling in Perth.

It is a blow for England, with Overton one of their best players on a troubled tour in which the Ashes urn was surrendered before Christmas.

“It’s obviously quite sore...and not the most ideal thing to get,” Overton told reporters last week.

“It just seemed like battling through the pain was in my nature. I’ve always been taught to fight through things and that’s what I’ve had to do.”

Curran, a right-armer from Surrey, was only added to England’s Ashes squad when Steve Finn was ruled out at the start of the tour with a torn knee cartilage.

Born in South Africa, the 22-year-old played a one-day international and three T20s for England earlier this year