Up and coming Indian pacer Deepak Chahar is set to face a lengthy spell on the sidelines after aggravating his back injury.

The Indian squads for the limited overs home series against Sri Lanka and Australia were announced on Monday. Paceman Jasprit Bumrah was named in India’s limited-overs squads for the home series against Sri Lanka and Australia after recovering from a stress fracture of the back.

Opener Shikhar Dhawan also made a comeback to the Twenty20 and one-day teams after missing the recent West Indies ODI series with a deep cut to his left knee.

But one of the significant omissions was that of Chahar who has been in good form in recent months despite below par returns against West Indies.

“Deepak [Chahar] felt mild pain in his lower back following the second ODI played in Vizag on Wednesday,” a BCCI statement had said before the series-decider against West Indies. “The BCCI medical team examined him and has suggested that the fast bowler needs some rest in order to fully recover. He has thus been ruled out of the final ODI.”

But on Monday, chief selector MSK Prasad confirmed that is a serious injury that ruled out the pacer for a significant amount of time.

“Till March-April, I have my own doubts about [Deepak Chahar returning],” Prasad was quoted as saying by ESPNCricinfo. “His lower back injury has aggravated. Technically, [Indian physio] Nitin Patel would be able to check with, but as of now it is a back injury [that is keeping him out of action].

Even BCCI confirmed the same in the release, stating, “Deepak Chahar has been diagnosed of a stress fracture in his lower back. He has started his rehabilitation at the NCA and is expected to regain match fitness by April 2020.”

Chahar was part of the playing XI in the first two ODIs against West Indies and was replaced by Navdeep Saini, who himself missed a few assignments due to a niggle earlier. Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s comeback from injury has been cut short as well, with the pacer having been ruled out of the matches against West Indies and replaced by Shardul Thakur.

Asked if these injuries are a concern, Prasad said the back-ups were readily available.

“See unlike the past there is a lot of cricket that is being played. So whenever you exert yourself you are bound to get injured. It is really unfortunate. But having said that, we have enough backups ready across all formats, across all disciplines, so Indian cricket need not worry for the next 6-7 years,” the former India wicketkeeper said.

After three T20Is against Sri Lanka, India will host Australia for three ODI games on January 14 (Mumbai), January 17 (Rajkot) and January 19 (Bangalore).