In a major blow to England's preparation for Ashes 2023, James Anderson is a doubt for the upcoming one-off test against Ireland starting on June 1. The veteran bowler suffered a groin injury during Lancashire's most recent County Championship clash against Somerset at Manchester's Emirates Old Trafford. ECB confirmed the player's injury in a statement and said will assess the pacer's recovery ahead of the Ireland Test at Lord's.
On Sunday evening, May 14, ECB unveiled that Anderson has suffered a minor strain to his right groin whilst bowling on Day 1 (May 11). Anderson was impressive with his 2/16 off 14-over spell on Day 1 but didn't return to the game after feeling discomfort with a groin injury. He missed the remainder of the match which ended in a draw after the 19-year-old James Rew's twin-centuries.
England are yet to announce the squad for Ireland Test but now are expected to exclude Anderson with the upcoming Ashes series in mind, which kick start on June 16 in Birmingham. Lancashire's next County game is on June 11, so there will not be enough time for Anderson to regain his match fitness for Ashes. Anderson, 40, remains the best pace option for England ahead of the Australia series so his potential absence will be a big blow for the Three Lions.
Meanwhile, another star pacer Jofra Archer is also struggling with a recurring elbow injury and is expected to miss Ashes. Archer left the ongoing Indian Premier League 2023 after featuring in just five games for Mumbai Indians and has returned to England to focus on his recovery to target a spot in a squad for Ashes.
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Olly Stone is also out of the picture as he suffered a hamstring injury while playing for Nottinghamshire on May 6. Skipper Ben Stokes is also struggling with a minor knee injury and suffered a toe injury while playing for Chennai Super Kings in the IPL 2023. Stokes is restricted to just two games this season and according to the team's head coach Stephen Fleming, the all-rounder will be utilized only as a batting option for the remainder of the matches.