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May 4, 2007
It was the news everyone in England was hoping not to hear. Michael Vaughan has been injured and is likely to miss the first Test on May 17. The fact that he has broken a finger (his middle right one) and not ruptured his knee again will be of little comfort for England who will take on West Indies at Lord's in less than a fortnight.
He could also miss the second Test, at his home ground Headingley, which starts on May 25. The ECB has confirmed that Vaughan will be reassessed prior to the first Test.
Vaughan retired hurt on Thursday, evading a Stuart Clark delivery, after scoring 16 in Yorkshire's second innings in their Championship match against Hampshire. He had looked in good touch, with 72 in the first innings. After being struck, he faced the first two balls of the following over from James Tomlinson, but then left the field to go to hospital.
Thoughts will now turn to the replacement captain. Andrew Strauss, who has led England before, and Paul Collingwood, who has been tipped as a future England captain, are likely to be the frontrunners.
Andrew Flintoff has already had captaincy experience, too, heading England in their most recent Ashes series. However, he is unlikely to feature too heavily in the selectors' thoughts after his late-night drinking session in the Caribbean, after which he was stripped of the vice-captaincy.
The Yorkshire physiotherapist, Scott McAllister, said of Vaughan's injury: "Results from the hospital show that he has suffered a fractured finger. It looks like he might be out for three to four weeks, but it's too early to say with absolute certainty. "
"We are looking at ways to speed up the healing process," McAllister told The Telegraph. "We have been talking to the ECB physiotherapist about using an oxygen chamber but Michael is not sure it will make any difference. At this stage, he has ruled himself out of the first Test but we will reassess the situation next week."
Vaughan missed all of last year's Test action against Sri Lanka and Pakistan - and has missed 15 Tests in a row in total - following a knee operation and then other injuries. His last match was in December 2005.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Stats highlights from the fourth ODI between India and West Indies in Dharamsala