The Perth Scorchers' playing stocks have taken another hit after all-rounder David Willey was ruled out for the remainder of the tournament after being called back to England.
Willey has battled a left shoulder complaint for much of the BBL campaign, and missed last Friday's loss to Hobart Hurricanes.
The 28-year-old was originally contracted to play out the entire regular season with the Scorchers, but he flew back to England on Tuesday at the orders of the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB).
Willey's early return will give him extra time to recover ahead of England's ODI series against the West Indies, starting on February 21.
Scorchers spinner Ashton Agar (finger) and paceman Cameron Green (back) have already been ruled out for the rest of the BBL campaign, while wicketkeeper-batsman Sam Whiteman (quad) is set to miss two to three weeks.
Mitch Marsh, Shaun Marsh, and Jason Behrendorff have returned from international duties and will bolster the side ahead of Thursday night's crunch clash with the Sydney Thunder at Optus Stadium.
The last-placed Scorchers fell to 3-6 following their heartbreaking loss to Hobart, and might need to win their remaining five games in order to keep their finals streak alive.
The Thunder (4-4-1) are in fourth spot on nine points, with only four points separating the second-placed Sydney Sixers (10) from the last-placed Scorchers (6).
Australian Associated Press