HOBART - Australia paceman Ben Hilfenhaus has a side strain and is not expected to bowl again in the first Hobart Test against Sri Lanka, team phsyio Alex Kountouris said on Sunday.

The Tasmanian swing bowler left the field after delivering just two balls of his 13th over in the opening hour of the third day's play in Hobart and later was taken to hospital for scans. Kountouris said Hilfenhaus's injury was on the mild side but he could still miss the second Test, starting in Melbourne on Boxing Day.

"Ben's got a side injury. It's a typical fast bowler's injury where they get these side strains," Kountouris said. "It's not too bad at the moment, but it's bad enough for him not to take the field and we'll see what he's like tomorrow in terms of his participation in the match, but it's looking doubtful that he will bowl again in the game."

Kountouris said the side injury was not as serious as the one that has sidelined fellow paceman James Pattinson for the rest of the Test season. "They're are completely different injuries, I call them side strains because they are in the same region but they are completely different injuries," he said. "I haven't got enough information about Ben's scans at the moment, but it doesn't look to be that bad, it's on the milder side, but not mild enough to bowl in the second innings here.”

He added there was now a question mark over whether Hilfenhaus would play in the second Test.

The setback to Hilfenhaus is the latest injury to hit Australia's diminishing reserves of fast bowlers this season. Australia's fast bowling stocks are already depleted with Pattinson (side), Patrick Cummins (back) and Josh Hazlewood (foot) all out of action.