Australia will travel to the United Arab Emirates in October to play Pakistan in a two-Test series and have already been dealt a huge blow.
Australia will be missing their two premier quicks in Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins, as the duo is under rehabilitation for their back injuries. Both the fast bowlers had last played cricket four months ago against South Africa.
The fitness of the pacers will be crucial ahead of Australia's packed international home season - a limited-overs series against South Africa, a full series against India followed by a two-Test series against Sri Lanka. They are expected to make a comeback in November with New South Wales, in the domestic one-day competition.
"Pat and Josh are progressing well from their lumbar bone stress injuries but are not bowling, so, unfortunately, they will not be at the level required for Test match intensity come October," David Beakley, Australia's physiotherapist, said.
"Barring any setbacks, we are hopeful that Pat and Josh will return via the back-end of the JLT One-Day Cup, with the aim of them being available for the ODI Series against South Africa in November as they build towards the Indian Test Series," he added.
However, in a form of silver lightning amongst the dark clouds, Mitchell Starc is on his way to regaining full fitness from the bone stress fracture he suffered during the South Africa series. He had to miss the IPL 2018 due to this injury.
"Mitchell Starc is back to unrestricted training and remains on track for the Test Series against Pakistan," Beakley added.
(with inputs from Cricbuzz.com)