With their County Championship title hopes gone, Durham have suffered yet more injury blows with Mark Davies and Ben Stokes back on the casualty list.
The members have been left with a difficult choice for their Player of the Year, with no outstanding candidate. Stokes probably remains the front-runner as he tops the batting averages with 740 Championship runs at 46.25, but he will be out of action for three months with a broken foot.
Whereas Graham Onions took 40 wickets in his first five games last season, Durham’s joint leading wicket-takers this year are Mitch Claydon and Ian Blackwell with 32.
In his fifth Championship game either side of a second ankle operation, the injury-prone Davies took his first wickets of the season against Nottinghamshire.
He was ecstatic when he had Alex Hales caught behind and pinned Adam Voges lbw, but after conceding only ten runs in 15 overs he was unable to take any further part after developing a sciatic nerve problem.
Steve Harmison, who has played in only eight games, will not feature again this season because of a foot injury and Callum Thorp is still struggling with a calf strain. He has played in only five games.
Durham had hoped to have Onions available for the September games, but instead the ECB medical team announced that he was to undergo further surgery on his back which would keep him out of action for an expected nine months.
Under the guidance of the England medical staff, Onions rested for three months in the hope that the stress reaction in his back would settle down. But when he bowled at Loughborough recently he continued to feel discomfort and his hopes of an Ashes tour this winter have vanished amid fears for his entire career.
Durham’s dream of a title hat-trick, meanwhile, has been undermined by injuries all season as they suffered no fewer than 14 of them in the first month alone.
The jinx even appeared to have spread to the opposition on the third day of the Championship fixture against Nottinghamshire at Chester-le-Street as Darren Pattinson limped off after bowling his first ball of the match.
Nominated in advance as the replacement for Ryan Sidebottom, who had to leave on the second evening to link up with the England Twenty20 squad, Pattinson first had to go in to bat as Sidebottom had been an unbeaten nightwatchman.
Pattinson made 19 but when he came on to bowl the second over his ankle gave way in his delivery stride. He returned to action later in the afternoon and conceded 26 runs off two overs before retiring again.