Perth Scorchers' bid to better last season's Big Bash grand final appearance is in disarray after the likely loss of two more key players only three weeks before their opening match.
All-rounder Mitch Marsh could be sidelined until February next year after scans yesterday revealed a severe tear of a hamstring that will require further investigation by specialists.
The damage was done during WA's 14-run loss to South Australia in the one-dayer at the WACA Ground on Saturday.
And big-hitting South African Albie Morkel is set to be withdrawn from the tournament under instructions from his home board.
Perth had already lost teenage speedster Pat Cummins to back stress fractures, and waning veteran Herschelle Gibbs is a divisive figure who just survived a management attempt to dump him before the Champions League last month.
Coach Justin Langer said Marsh would miss the Sheffield Shield match against Tasmania, starting on Sunday, and the one-dayer, on December 1, before domestic cricket turns to the Big Bash campaign a week later.
Marsh could be replaced by his brother Shaun, who is completing a suspension after a boozy night out in Cape Town last month.
"It's a huge blow for lots of reasons," Langer said.
"We've got a shield game and a one-dayer in Tassie next week which he won't be available for. Then it's unlikely he'll be available for the Scorchers."
Marsh retired hurt on 21 with WA needing 37 off 40 balls to pass South Australia's 9-219 in their Ryobi Cup match.
His departure saw the Warriors lose their last four wickets in four overs to be dismissed for 205.
WA appeared likely to give Langer victory in his first match after the new-ball attack had struck early to have the Redbacks 5-61, while young opener Sam Whiteman anchored the chase with 74.
But the Warriors relaxed their grip, SA captain Johan Botha and Alex Ross setting up the win with a telling 96-run sixth-wicket stand.
WA's cause was hampered by the application of the decision review system with third umpire Mick Martell failing to uphold a clear caught behind appeal off Kane Richardson and Daniel Worrall was allowed to bowl five no-balls in an over, including one when Tom Triffitt was caught at slip.
Martell's rulings were so inconsistent SA coach Darren Berry entered the WA rooms to discuss the matter with Langer.
"Coaches, players and umpires alike are all pretty confused and frustrated by this system which was clearly evident," Berry said.
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