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Anderson still in the dark over knee problem

Cricinfo staff

March 25, 2010

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James Anderson collected the 8th five-wicket haul of his career as South Africa collapsed to 291 all out, South Africa v England, 3rd Test, Cape Town, January 4, 2009
'It can be quite difficult to decipher what is a niggle and what can cause you problems - because as a bowler you are never really 100% fit' © Getty Images
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James Anderson still has no idea what caused the knee problem that plagued him during the winter, but is confident of being ready for the start of the English season and a return to England colours.

Anderson was rested for the tour of Bangladesh after suffering with his knee during the trip to South Africa where he had a total of four injections to get him through the one-day and Test series.

He has been back training with Lancashire during pre-season, although skipped the club's tour to Barbados, and resumed bowling a couple of weeks ago. His first outing is due to be against Durham UCCE on April 3 before Lancashire's opening Championship match, against Warwickshire, on April 15.

"The knee is good; the rehab has been going well," Anderson told the Manchester Evening News. "I don't know exactly what the problem was. I went to see a surgeon in London, and he didn't know what it was.

"All the doctors I have seen didn't have a clue, so we just spread a bit of cortisone around where I pointed at, where the pain was, and we left it for three weeks. We injected it at the start of the tour of South Africa, and had three more injections on that trip."

"It can be quite difficult to decipher what is a niggle and what can cause you problems - because as a bowler you are never really 100% fit. You always have a niggle or two. This one started as a niggle and just got worse and worse."

England name their 15-man squad for the World Twenty20 next Tuesday and Anderson will be expected to lead the attack at that tournament in West Indies, but first he wants to get through his first few outings of the season.

"The aim is to play against Durham University and then play it by ear," he said. "Lancashire have a few more warm-up games, but we will take it day by day and see how the knee pulls up. I had three weeks off when I got back from South Africa and have been gradually building up from there. I started bowling a couple of weeks ago and am bowling at about three-quarters pace at the moment."

Anderson's absence in Bangladesh, coupled with injuries to Ryan Sidebottom and Graham Onions, meant England fielded a new-look pace attack in the Tests and one-dayers. Tim Bresnan, the Yorkshire allrounder, took his chance with some impressive displays while Steven Finn also made a promising start to his Test career after a late call-up.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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