Australia paceman Mitchell Starc's ankle requires surgery and could "give in" at any time, coach Mickey Arthur says.
Starc needs spurs removed from an ankle and is in pain every time he bowls, but Australia's managers hope surgery won't be until after this year's Ashes series.
Arthur detailed Starc's condition in the wake of the left-armer missing Sunday's one-day international against Sri Lanka with a calf injury.
"He has an ankle infringement, he has got spurs that are going to require an operation at some stage," Arthur said.
"We are hoping that will be a year down the line, but at some stage it's going to give in."
Arthur said the oft-criticised decision to rest Starc from the Boxing Day Test was made for the benefit of the 22-year-old's future.
"There was no point in us playing him in a Boxing Day Test match and risk losing him for the one-day series and then losing him for a tour of India - that would have been plain stupid," Arthur said.
"Every time he bowls, he bowls in pain.
"But that is part and parcel of being a quick bowler, you are going to bowl in pain all the time and he's handling it really well.
"Somewhere down the line we are going to have to look for a gap for him to go and have those spurs removed but we are hoping we can get him through India, we are hoping we can get him through an England tour, and then maybe look at a gap and have it done."
Starc will be available for Friday's third one-dayer.