Marcus Stoinis has suffered an untimely leg injury in his return to the Indian Premier League, just one month out from the start of Australia's Twenty20 World Cup campaign.
Stoinis trudged off the field during his second over in Dubai, where David Warner was out for a duck as the Delhi Capitals cruised to an eight-wicket win over Sunrisers Hyderabad.
Allrounder Stoinis played no further part in the match, with Delhi teammate Steve Smith serving as a substitute fielder in his absence.
The early indication is Stoinis has suffered a hamstring injury but Delhi are yet to confirm the nature or extent of the setback.
Cricket Australia (CA) medicos will keenly await an update from the IPL franchise, which is coached by Ricky Ponting.
"I have no idea about his injury but I spoke to him and he was looking really fit and happy," Delhi batter Shreyas Iyer said.
Australia's T20 World Cup campaign starts against South Africa on October 23, with that tournament being held in the United Arab Emirates.
Stoinis, among the group of Australian stars to opt out of recent limited-overs tours of the West Indies and Bangladesh, was expected to bat at No.5 or No.6 at the T20 World Cup.
The importance of the role was highlighted in Australia's recent T20 series losses.
"I want to be not only the best finisher in Australia, I want to be the best finisher in the world," Stoinis told ESPNcricinfo.
"I've got a great opportunity to do it with Delhi under Punter.
"And a great opportunity in this World Cup. Whether it's in this World Cup or the next World Cup (in Australia in 2022), that's up to me."
Lockdowns and the IPL have ensured Australia's preparation for the T20 World Cup, a tournament they have never won, has been segmented.
CA had been in talks regarding a proposed T20 tri-series with Afghanistan and West Indies before the World Cup but there were several issues.
Stoinis, Warner, Smith, Glenn Maxwell and Josh Hazlewood are using the IPL to warm up for the World Cup, as are squad reserves Dan Christian and Nathan Ellis.
Captain Aaron Finch underwent knee surgery in August but has expressed confidence he will be fully fit in time for the World Cup.
Finch and vice-captain Pat Cummins won't play for their respective states before departing for the World Cup, with the squads of NSW and Victoria currently restricted to training in lockdown.
Mitch Marsh was the best of Australia's World Cup squad members in action on Wednesday, scoring 111 in Western Australia's one-day win over South Australia.
Australian Associated Press