November 7, 2002

Jones out for six months with knee injury


England fast bowler Simon Jones is out of the Ashes tour and will play no cricket for at least six months after injuring his knee in the first Test against Australia in Brisbane.

Jones ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee as he attempted a sliding stop in the field early in the second session of the Test. The 23-year-old needs reconstructive surgery, but doctors do not want him to fly home for at least two weeks.

"I was fielding at mid-on to Ricky Ponting when it happened," Jones said. "The ball went past me and I just went into a regulation slide after it.

"The grass is different here though - it's more sandy-based because they play Aussie Rules football on the same surface - and my studs caught and I landed awkwardly on my right knee.

"It didn't really hurt that much to be honest. I just knew there was something wrong immediately and I that I had to lie still and wait for Kirk Russell to come onto the field.

"I broke my left leg before playing rugby when I was 17 and I've also had stress fractures of the shin and the foot since then. I've come back from those injuries so I'm backing myself to come back from this too.

"I'd started the game well and was feeling good. In the previous matches, I've built my pace up slowly session by session, but this time I'd managed to get up to the 91/92 mph mark much quicker than before. Obviously, I'm gutted about what's happened but it's something that I feel I can get over."

Jones will fly to Adelaide, where he will be based at England's cricket academy for treatment designed to reduce the swelling.