England v South Africa Tests
Injured Anderson set for lengthy lay-off
Bowler now in race against time to be fit for England's opening Test against South Africa in six weeks' time
24 May 2017, 07:19 AM AEST
England's veteran pace bowler James Anderson faces an uphill battle to be fit in time for the opening Test against South Africa after tearing his groin in a county match.
The 34-year-old, England's all-time most successful Test bowler with 467 wickets, collapsed midway through his sixth over for Lancashire against Roses rivals Yorkshire last Friday.
He limped off and was unable to bowl for the rest of the match but did make an appearance as a batsman, making an unbeaten eight off seven balls towards the end of a drawn match at Old Trafford.
Anderson is now set to miss the return fixture at Yorkshire's Headingley headquarters starting on June 2 while medical staff at the England and Wales Cricket Board try to determine the full extent of the injury.
The experienced swing bowler no longer features for England in white-ball cricket and the first Test of the season, against South Africa at Lord's, does not start until July 6.
That makes for an exceptionally tight timeline for Anderson to prove his fitness with groin injuries taking up to six weeks to heal.
England chiefs would want Anderson to prove his fitness in one of Lancashire's three further Championship fixtures before the series opener with the Proteas rather than run the risk of him breaking down during a Test match.
"A scan has confirmed that Lancashire and England seamer Jimmy Anderson has a tear to his right groin," said an ECB statement issued Tuesday.
"He will be fully assessed on Wednesday by the ECB medical team to understand the extent of his injury.
"He will miss Lancashire's County Championship Division One match against Yorkshire at Headingley commencing on Friday June 2."
The veteran's latest injury blow is a concern for England in an Ashes year. Anderson missed four of England's last 10 Tests with a shoulder injury picked up against Pakistan last August.
In 13 Tests in Australia, Anderson has taken 43 wickets at an average north of 38, compared to his average of 25 in home conditions.
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