Topley suffered the injury to his right side playing against Essex for Surrey 2nd XI – effectively a warm-up for the Vitality Blast, which they begin against Middlesex at Lord’s on Thursday. Topley bowled just one over before pulling up, with a scan revealing the extent of the injury.
It is the second piece of bad news for Surrey in the last 24 hours, after they lost overseas star Sean Abbott to a hamstring injury. In a further blow, an intra-squad warm-up on Friday evening had to be cancelled because of poor weather.
Left-arm quick Topley has seen his workload managed this season, playing four of Surrey’s seven County Championship matches.
Surrey say he will miss four to six weeks, and is “likely” to sit out the Vitality Blast group stages, which run until July 16.
England’s white-ball summer – six matches in each of the T20 and ODI formats – begins against Sri Lanka on 23 June and ends on July 20 against Pakistan, leaving Topley unlikely to be involved, too.
Topley, 27, has been plagued by back injuries in recent years, but has enjoyed a heartening comeback over the last year, playing for England last summer and in India this year. He is contention for a place in England’s T20 World Cup squad later this year.
Fortunately for Surrey, they are not short on T20 seam-bowling options, with the Curran brothers, Jamie Overton, Liam Plunkett, Jade Dernbach, Rikki Clarke and Jordan Clark in their squad.
At international, Topley’s injury could see greater involvement for the likes of David Willey and Saqib Mahmood.