DURHAM’S injury troubles continued today when Graham Onions bowled only three balls in the home Royal London Cup tie against Nottinghamshire before departing with a side strain.

He has already missed six weeks of the season with a back problem and was showing signs of regaining his form in this competition ahead of Friday’s return to championship action at Old Trafford.

Bowlers usually take two months to recover from side strains and Durham might now have to consider bringing back Mark Wood ahead of schedule after his latest injury.

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With Jamie Harrison suffering a recurrence of his knee problem in his comeback for the second team last week, and Usman Arshad out with a foot injury, resources are stretched.

The latest blow adds to a frustrating season for Onions after his 70 championship wickets at 18.45 played a big part in securing the title for Durham last season. In the five games he has played this year his 12 wickets have cost 42 apiece.

His departure today initially looked like being costly as the visitors, who were put in, reached 45 without loss after eight overs.

But after Michael Lumb skied Ben Stokes to mid-off they lost their way against tight bowling from John Hastings and Scott Borthwick, who took two wickets in reducing Nottinghamshire to 112 for four after 30 overs.