HAMPSHIRE seamer Reece Topley is out for the rest of the season after sustaining a FIFTH stress fracture of the back.

The England star’s injury setback comes the day after Hampshire confirmed that Mason Crane and Brad Wheal are also out for the rest of the season with stress fractures of the back.

Last week, Topley gave himself an excellent chance of playing in the Royal London One-Day Cup final against Kent by taking a career-best 4-16 for the England Lions.

He was devastated to be left out in place of Crane, who underwent an injection so he could play.

But he received worse news earlier this week when he was diagnosed with his latest stress fracture, after bowling four overs (0-33) in the England Lions’ tri-series final defeat against India A at The Oval.

His dad Don explained: “Reece was very happy with the way he bowled last week, he had a good rhythm and was bowling quickly.

“He played on Monday for the Lions and was almost going to go up to Old Trafford for England’s T20 [against India].

“But he ended up having a scan on Tuesday morning and at 11am it was confirmed that he has a recurrence of the same stress fracture.

“He’s devastated and fed up of playing in pain. The harsh reality is we have a surgeon’s appointment next Wednesday.”

It will be Topley’s first back operation in a bid to end his injury nightmare.

“It’s the fifth time he’s had a stress fracture and I’ve got nothing but total admiration for the way he’s conducted himself throughout,” continued Don. “It’s heart breaking for us to see him like this but it’s much worse for him.”

Asked if he expects his son to be back for the start of next season, Topley snr added: “The most important thing after an operation is to only come back when you’re fit and well and to put no timeline on it.”

Topley signed a white-ball contract earlier this year in a bid to reduce his workload as he continued his comeback from a fourth stress fracture.

The 24 year-old, who was in his third season with Hampshire after signing from Essex, has been restricted to two County Championship appearances, seven T20 games and 11 50-over matches since being injured on debut in April 2016.