Side strain puts Woakes in doubt for re­main­der of se­ries

The Sunday Telegraph - Sport - - Front Page - By Nick Hoult at Trent Bridge

Chris Woakes is set to miss the whole se­ries against South Africa due to the side strain he suf­fered last month in the open­ing game of the Cham­pi­ons Tro­phy.

Woakes has re­turned to train­ing but is still un­able to use his front arm fully while bowl­ing, and with a lack of cham­pi­onship cricket for War­wick­shire be­tween now and the end of the South Africa se­ries, he is un­likely to re­turn to in­ter­na­tional cricket un­til Eng­land play the West Indies next month.

Woakes could be back in time for the fourth Test at Old Traf­ford but that co­in­cides with a cham­pi­onship game for War­wick­shire, and Eng­land are likely to want him to play in that match in­stead.

Jake Ball, the Not­ting­hamshire seamer, is mak­ing bet­ter progress with a knee in­jury and could be back for his county next week in a Twenty20 match but re­mains un­likely to be con­sid­ered for Eng­land se­lec­tion un­til the fourth Test at the ear­li­est.

Eng­land had hoped Woakes would only miss the start of this se­ries when he suf­fered the side strain dur­ing the eight-wicket vic­tory against Bangla- desh at the Oval at the be­gin­ning of June but side strains are no­to­ri­ously dif­fi­cult to treat for fast bowlers and rush­ing him back would risk mak­ing it worse.

“It felt like some­one was stick­ing a knife in my side,” Woakes said at the time of his in­jury. He did con­sider play­ing Twenty20 cricket for War­wick­shire as a bats­man but did not want to risk hurt­ing his right side in the field.

Eng­land will de­lay nam­ing the squad for the third Test at the Oval un­til later this week as they re­assess af­ter the match at Trent Bridge.

The Eng­land and Wales Cricket Board are re­view­ing their emer­gency safety pro­ce­dures in the pro­fes­sional game as they re­act to the Luke Fletcher in­jury last week. Nick Peirce, the ECB’s chief med­i­cal of­fi­cer, chaired the first meet­ing of the newly formed emer­gency care com­mit­tee last week which will stan­dard­ise life-sav­ing pro­ce­dures for crick­eters play­ing in pro­fes­sional matches.

The com­mit­tee was formed be­fore Fletcher, the Not­ting­hamshire bowler, was struck in the head last week while bowl­ing in a Twenty20 match, but that in­ci­dent has fo­cused minds in cricket about the dan­gers in the pro­fes­sional game.

The meet­ing fol­lowed a re­port last year by Peirce re­view­ing cricket’s emer­gency care pro­ce­dures which has al­ready seen changes brought in such as a physio for each team in sec­ond XI cricket and life-sav­ing train­ing for um­pires.

Out of the pic­ture: Chris Woakes has re­turned to train­ing but can not use his front arm fully

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