Warwickshire are likely to be without Michael Powell for today's County Championship match against Sussex.
Powell, who made such an impressive return to the team in Saturday's Cheltenham and Gloucester Trophy semifinal, has suffered more pain in his shins and is unlikely to risked at Edgbaston.
"I'm hoping it's just a reaction to playing again, but the area where I had the stress fracture is very sore at the moment," Powell said.
"I've been applying ice to it all day and hopefully it will be OK in the morning.
"The problem is that I won't know for sure whether I can get through a four-day game until I try to do so. But if I break down after a couple of overs it leaves us a man down for the rest of the game.
"Obviously I want to play in all the games. If I miss this game and the Championship match against Hampshire next week I will definitely be available for the Cheltenham and Gloucester final, but there's a lot to play for at the moment and I was feeling in pretty good nick."
In reality Powell is unlikely to play. Any further aggravation to the area would almost certainly result in him missing the rest of the season. Furthermore Warwickshire would not be allowed a substitute fielder if Powell was incapacitated by a preexisting condition.
Luke Parker is therefore likely to be summoned from the Second XI game against Worcestershire. Parker has done pretty well in his four games to date, but against such formidable opposition Powell's experience would have added a welcome solidity to what remains a brittle batting line-up.
Hindsight would suggest that Powell returned to action too early, though such criticism is a touch facile. However, it's not the first time Warwickshire players have suffered relapses this season. Naqaash Tahir and Mark Wagh both suffered a recurrence of their injuries in aborted comebacks and questions are sure to be asked about the way in which such issues are managed at the club.
That Warwickshire still have an outside chance of retaining their Championship title is impressive given their list of absentees this season. But victory in this game is essential if those hopes are to be sustained.
It will not be easy. Sussex, who have played a game more, are currently top of the table and thrashed Warwickshire in the game at Hove earlier in the season.
Perhaps of more relevance than the 21 points that separates Warwickshire and Sussex is the 13-point cushion between the current champions and the relegation places. A fifth loss of the season in this game would place the hosts back in the mire.
In the continued absence of Powell, Bell, Wagh et al it is imperative that the likes of Alex Loudon and Jim Troughton find some consistency to add to their flair. Both have flirted with excellence, but the sometimes prosaic business of winning matches requires much greater consistency.
A return to form from Tony Frost and Nick Knight, in the worst slump of his career, would also be timely.
The continued excellence of Neil Carter at least provides reason for cheer. The allrounder requires just one more wicket and 19 more runs to complete the double of 100 first-class wickets and 1,000 first-class runs for Warwickshire. The club will surely not allow him to slip away. n There was no play yesterday in the Second XI Championship game between Warwickshire and Worcestershire at Ombersley.