Sydney: Opening batsman Phil Jaques has given the Australian cricket team another fitness concern ahead of next month's Test series against the touring Indians.
Jaques, who scored consecutive Test centuries against Sri Lanka this month, has pulled out of one-day and four-day games for New South Wales amid fears he has contracted mumps.
His illness is another distraction for the Australian side given the form and injury worries hanging over leg-spinner Stuart MacGill.
Jaques, 28, missed NSW's one-day loss to Tasmania on Sunday because of an ear infection and was expected to play in the four-day game against Victoria starting in Melbourne on Wednesday.
But he is out of the side and NSW coach Matthew Mott and chairman of selectors Brian Taber confirmed they feared the opener had contracted mumps.
Mumps is a viral illness which usually affects young children but can affect adults if they are not immunised.
"It can happen in adults and it's actually quite dangerous for adults, and he's been on antibiotics for a couple of days now," Mott said.
Team officials expect to learn more Wednesday, but if Jaques has mumps he might also be ruled out of NSW's Sheffield Shield Cup match against Queensland, starting December 14, which is his last chance for a first-class hit-out before the India series starts in Melbourne on Boxing Day.
"We don't know for certain if it's the mumps, he's going to be resting and he won't be playing the Shield match here, and it's not that long between the next game, so I suppose he will be battling a little bit (to play)," Mott said.
MacGill is in contact with Australian team physiotherapist Alex Kountouris over his troublesome knee and is reportedly considering undergoing surgery which would keep the leg-spinner out of the four Tests against India.
Cricket Australia is yet to announce a course of action for MacGill before the Boxing Day Test, but his options are resting his knee, regaining form with NSW and undergoing surgery, which would cost him his Test spot to another spinner, most likely Brad Hogg.
MacGill earned a strong show of support from Australian paceman Brett Lee, who said the 36-year-old legspinner did not deserve to be judged on one bad Test in Hobart.
"You're talking about one game over 42, he's a wonderful player and he's already shown that he is such a capable Test bowler," Lee said.
"It's unfair to chat about someone's career over one match and what I say about Stuey is that he is a wonderful bowler and anyone that doubts him, go have a look at his record."
MacGill has 203 wickets from 42 Tests, but the Sri Lanka series brought only five wickets at 65.