Middlesex must fear they are about to experience 'Groundhog day' after their fast bowling injury crisis deepened this week.

Chris Silverwood became the latest casualty of a start to the county season for the Seaxes' quicks, all too reminiscent of the disastrous 2006 campaign which saw them relegated from the top tier of the Championship.

Back then, the former Yorkshire seamer proved the one constant of an injury-ravaged Lord's attack deprived for long spells of the likes of Alan Richardson, Melvyn Betts and Mohammed Ali.

Two years on, 'Woody' damaged his knee in the drawn four-day game with Glamorgan.

With Richardson already out for at least six weeks after an operation on an ankle spur, and Dirk Nannes (metatarsal), and Danny Evans (shin splints) also on the Lord's treatment table, sources close to the club indicate an emergency loan deal is being explored to ease the crisis.

Head coach Toby Radford admits he's down to the bare bones.

"We are just trying to find anyone who can stand up at the moment, that's how short of fit bowlers we are," he said.

"Chris Silverwood is probably going to be out for about two weeks, it shouldn't be any longer than that.

"We think it's just a ligament thing. There's no major tear or cartilage problem.

"But Richardson and Nannes have been unfit, and to not have Danny Evans available after he bowled so well in the one-dayer against Surrey is really frustrating."

With Silverwood out of the attack, it was Tim Murtagh - not for the first time - who stole the bowling honours against their Welsh visitors with a career-best 7-95 in the first innings.

However, despite these heroics and an encouraging first-class debut from Gareth Berg, Radford opted for caution with his side a bowler light, batting out the final day for the bonus points.

He said: "Steven Finn had bowled 80-odd overs in the last two weeks, which is a hell of a lot for a 19-year-old, and with Gareth Berg making his debut we were a bit light on bowlers.

"It wasn't a game to take a risk on and push for a win. There's a lot of cricket to be played - it's only April."

Murtagh was up to his wicket-taking exploits again on Sunday as the Cr usaders maintained their unbeaten start to the Friends Provident Trophy against Kent.

'Dial M' took three wickets in the final over to finish with 4-29 as the hosts won by six runs under the Duckworth/Lewis Method.