Pakistan in England 2010 July 13, 2010

Bell ruled out of Pakistan Tests after breaking foot

Ian Bell has been officially ruled out of England's Test series against Pakistan after fracturing the fifth metatarsal in his left foot while fielding during the second ODI against Bangladesh.

"Ian underwent a routine operation last night on the fractured metatarsal in his left foot," said the ECB's chief medical officer, Nick Peirce. "He will now undergo a course of rehabilitation that will see him ruled out of the upcoming Pakistan Test series.

"We expect Ian to make a full recovery but his participation in the NatWest Series against Pakistan in September will be reviewed in due course once he has made significant progress with his rehabilitation programme."

Bell suffered the injury when he dived for an attempted catch in the 10th over of Bangladesh's innings. He limped off the field at the end of the over and was taken to hospital in an ambulance for assessment before returning to the ground on crutches.

"I went up for a catch and felt pain as soon as I landed," Bell said. "I knew straight away I'd done something serious. This is obviously extremely disappointing for me. I had worked very hard to get back into the England squad and had felt in good touch.

"As a professional sportsman I accept injuries happen and it is now up to me to work closely with the ECB medical staff and Warwickshire on a rehab programme that will get me back playing as soon as possible."

Injuries never come at a good time, but for Bell this is an especially cruel blow after he had managed to establish his Test credentials over the last six months. He bounced back from the brink of being dropped against South Africa with a century at Durban and a match-saving 78 at Cape Town.

He has since continued his liking of Bangladesh bowling with a century in the second Test at Dhaka in March and another at Old Trafford earlier this season. On his recall to the one-day side at Trent Bridge two days prior to the injury, he struck a Man-of-the-Match 84 not out to guide England to a six-wicket victory.

Bell's absence from the Test side could mean another opportunity for Eoin Morgan who was expected to make way after his two games against Bangladesh with Paul Collingwood set to slot back into the middle order. The other option for the selectors would be to considering experimenting with a five-man bowling attack with a strong feeling that England will need that balance at some point during the Ashes.

Andrew McGlashan is assistant editor of Cricinfo

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