Simon Jones' dreams of an Ashes comeback this summer appear shattered as the Worcestershire paceman is set to undergo further knee surgery on Thursday which will sideline him for up to two months.
Jones had been in an optimistic mood at the county's pre-season media day on Tuesday and was confident of forcing his way back into England's plans if he performed well in the early part of the campaign for the Royals.
But a visit to the surgeon today revealed the former Glamorgan paceman has a new cartilage problem.
The 30-year-old underwent knee surgery last September after a successful first season at New Road in which he took 42 first-class wickets in nine games. But this latest setback will rule him out until at least the middle of June.
That will leave him with little chance to stake a claim for a call-up for the start of the five-Test series against Australia the following month.
A Worcestershire spokesperson confirmed: "Simon Jones visited his surgeon today and has been informed of a new cartilage issue behind the kneecap.
"Simon will undergo surgery tomorrow and will be ruled out of playing for six to eight weeks."
Worcestershire Director of Cricket Steve Rhodes said: "It is bad news for Simon that this new problem has occurred, Simon will undergo arthroscopy on his left knee tomorrow to remove loose cartilage.
"The positive that can be taken from this is that Simon will be ready for the second part of the season."
Jones has been dogged by knee problems in recent years and has not played Test cricket since the 2005 series when he picked up 18 wickets in four matches to help England to a 2-1 success.