May 25, 2019

Mark Wood to undergo 'precautionary scan' as England endure more injury scares

The England fast bowler Mark Wood is to undergo a precautionary scan on his troublesome left foot, after another day of injury worries for England during their warm-up match against Australia at the Ageas Bowl.

Wood and Jofra Archer, the two men in the England squad who can regularly surpass 90 mph with the ball, both left the field within minutes of one another in the opening hour of the match, and though Archer later returned after treatment, they also lost their left-arm spinner Liam Dawson as well, after he suffered a laceration to the ring finger on his right hand.

First Wood, after one ball of his fourth over, stopped halfway through his run-up and left the pitch having indicated that he may have an issue. Just two balls later Archer, a surprising choice as substitute fielder for Wood, slid as he attempted to stop a ball on the midwicket boundary and appeared to sustain an injury. He left the pitch moments later, but returned to the field after treatment half an hour later.

An ECB statement confirmed that Wood had experienced some "left foot discomfort", a concern given his lengthy history of ankle problems, and after spending further time with the medical team, they issued a follow-up statement confirming that he would undergoing a scan.

"Mark Wood is to have a precautionary scan," read the statement. "England's medical team want to ensure there is nothing serious in the build-up to the start of the World Cup."

Archer, meanwhile, is understood to be carrying a minor niggle in his leg that contributed to his limited involvement in the ODI series, but there are no major concerns about his fitness.

As for Dawson, his injury occurred while backing up a wayward shy from deep cover in the 44th over. He left the field for immediate treatment, having split the skin on his right finger, and the ECB later confirmed he would not be called upon to bat. Up to that point, he had bowled tidily in his first outing in England colours this year, having conceded 50 runs in nine overs while picking up the wicket of Usman Khawaja.

All of which meant that Paul Collingwood, one of England's assistant coaches, was briefly forced into service as a substitute fielder. Collingwood turns 43 tomorrow, and retired as a player at the end of the 2018 season. Joe Root, who was due to miss the game following the death of his grandfather on Thursday, was also pressed into service as a substitute fielder.

England are also without the injured pair of Eoin Morgan, who sustained a fractured finger in training on Friday, and Adil Rashid, who has a long-standing shoulder injury. They also confirmed that Chris Woakes, who is expected to open the bowling in the World Cup, was playing in this match as a specialist batsman and would not bowl as they seek to manage his even more long-standing knee problems.

According to the ICC's playing conditions for the World Cup, substitute fielders are not permitted from outside the 15-man playing squad, although those rules do not apply to the warm-up games.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

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