Royal Challengers Bangalore bowler Josh Hazlewood is expected to miss at least the opening seven games of IPL 2023.
The Australian fast bowler is expected to link up with the squad on April 14th but would take another week to be match-fit.
Hazlewood was sent back from the Test tour of India due to Achilles tendonitis that affected him for two months, which came after he damaged his side in the first Test of Australia's home summer in early December 2022 and missed the next three Test matches.
Royal Challengers Bangalore picked up Hazlewood in the 2022 mega auction for INR 7.75 crore.
He took 20 wickets in 12 matches, finishing in second place for the RCB’s leading wicket taker.
RCB are looking for IPL 2023 to be the year where they claim their first IPL trophy, however they will need players to stay fit for this to take place.
RCB injury woes
This is as the Royal Challengers Bangalore continue to lose some high-profile names due to injury.
Earlier this month RCB lost England all-rounder Will Jacks for the season, with Bangalore flying over New Zealand all-rounder Michael Bracewell as a replacement for the side.
Rajat Patidar who really hit the ground running for the side in IPL 2022, will miss at least half of the tournament with a heel injury.
The seven games in which Hazlewood could miss
Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Mumbai Indians
Kolkata Knight Riders vs Royal Challengers Bangalore
Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Lucknow Super Giants
Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Delhi Capitals
Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Chennai Super Kings
Punjab Kings vs Royal Challengers Bangalore
Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Rajasthan Royals
Skipper Faf du Plessis will be without his premier bowler for the start of the tournament, with no replacement set to be flown in.
Where does this leave RCB?
This perhaps paves the way for fellow overseas player England’s Reece Topley to apply his trade as the opening bowler for the side.
Compatriot of Topley, David Willey may also be in line to play, Willey has made his trade as a swing bowler and joined RCB last season for INR 2 Crore.
He played four games last in IPL 2022 taking just the one wicket.
Indian seamers Harshal Patel and Mohammed Siraj who took 19 and just 9 wickets respectively will need to take on the majority of the load until Hazlewood returns.
Sri Lankan Wanindu Hasaranga will be crucial as the main strike bowler for the side who took 26 wickets at an average of just 16.54.