About up to 10 times of the bowler's body weight is sent up through his spine, each time a fast bowler slams his front foot on the turf and slings a speeding cricket ball.

It is a no surprise that bowlers are vulnerable to stress fractures in their backs that can keep them away from the game for months. Peter Siddle, Australian speedster is recovering from a fracture while Stuart Clark, his team mate has just returned from a similar injury.

Alex Kountouris, the team physiotherapist whose job is to make sure that as many players as possible are at highest match fitness when they are needed, feel that the core mission would be to try and isolate the causes of stress fractures and prevent them.

Kountouris is also researching the extent to which muscle imbalances in the back caused by bowling, make players more prone to stress fractures. Several aspects that may be involved are bowling technique, foot placement, workload and the bowler's physiology.

The identification of all these factors that contribute to fractures is important for creating training regimes catered to the individual bowlers to reduce risks of fractures, says Kountouris.

We are looking for a magic bullet but I don't think a magic bullet exists. I have a feeling that what we will find is that it is a combination of factors, Kountouris shared with the HES from New Zealand where he is on tour with the team.

The work by University of Queensland's Craig Engstrom highlighted the link between muscle asymmetry and stress fractures, says Kountouris.

He is exploring that link in greater detail, something that could persuade Cricket Australian to invest financially in the area.

My main aim is to work out whether (muscle symmetry) is in fact a problem and then we can direct research funding to those areas, he said.

Kountouris completed his undergraduate degree at La Trobe University prior joining the Victorian Institute of Sport to work in soccer. In 1995, he was hired by then Sri Lanka coach and former Australian Test batsman Dave Whatmore, to be his team physiotherapist, a position he held for 8 years, before joining the Australian team in 2003.