Woakes side strain gives England a worry

Chris Woakes left the field after bowling two overs © Getty Images

Chris Woakes‘ participation in the remainder of England’s Champions Trophy campaign could be in doubt, after he picked up a side strain during the tournament opener against Bangladesh at The Oval.

Woakes had come into the match nursing a tight quad that led to his omission from the final two matches of England’s recent ODI series against South Africa, but he looked in fine fettle as he opened the campaign with a maiden to Bangladesh’s Tamim Iqbal.

However, he bowled just one more over in his spell before leaving the field for treatment, and a statement from the ECB later confirmed that he was being assessed for a left side strain.

Though it is too early to say how the injury will impact on Woakes’ involvement either in the remainder of this match, or England’s subsequent group games against New Zealand on June 6 and Australia on June 10, side strains are notoriously difficult injuries for fast bowlers to shake off.

Writing on Twitter, the former England fast bowler, Darren Gough, reckoned it could take between four and six weeks for a full recovery, especially if he has damaged his intercostal muscles. Were that the case, the injury would leave Woakes in some doubt for the start of England’s Test series against South Africa as well, which gets underway at Lord’s on July 6.

Woakes’ injury was the latest in a series of issues undermining England’s previously settled Champions Trophy squad. Ben Stokes came into the match nursing a knee injury that limited his ability to bowl in the South Africa series, and England’s selection of Jake Ball ahead of the legspinner Adil Rashid, their leading ODI wicket-taker since the 2015 World Cup, may have been a precautionary measure.

Andrew Miller is UK editor of ESPNcricinfo. @miller_cricket

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Source: ESPN Crickinfo

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