July 4, 2003

Teenager Barnes joins lengthy injury list

Teenage Portsmouth batsman Michael Barnes has joined the growing list of cricketers who have been ruled out of action for the remainder of the season.

Barnes was to have been behind the stumps in both Hampshire's Under-17 and ECB Under-21 Championship side in the next few weeks.

But he has been diagnosed with a form of Hepatitis for which he is having hospital treatment.

In-form 2nd XI all-rounder Dean Oliffe replaced Barnes in Portsmouth's thumping nine-wicket defeat by Havant last week and will play at Liphook & Ripsley on Saturday.

A broken collar bone has put Rob Wade on the sidelines - just as the South Wilts captain was enjoying his best season for some time - while highly promising Academy all-rounder David Wheeler underwent a back operation in a London hospital last week and will not play again until next season.

It appears the operation went well, though, with the powerful New Milton teenager up on his feet in the hospital ward barely an hour after being under the surgeon's knife.

Also struggling for fitness is Sparsholt captain Ian Stuart, who broke a thumb earlier in the season.