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July 19, 2007
Matthew Hoggard will have his back injury reassessed on Monday and is a doubtful starter for the second Test against India at Trent Bridge, starting July 27, after an MRI scan revealed irritation in a disc in his back.
Hoggard was ruled out of the first Test currently underway at Lord's after being sent to hospital following a back spasm. "His rehabilitation will be closely monitored over the next five days and he will be re-assessed by ECB medical staff on Monday," the ECB said.
"I feel mightily peeved," Hoggard said in The Times. "I bowled three balls and couldn't run in to bowl any more. I kicked some stumps -- not too hard or I could have ended up in traction -- and realised straightaway that I wouldn't be playing in the Test match."
Chris Tremlett was called up to replace Hoggard and made his debut today at the expense of Stuart Broad, the young Leicestershire fast bowler who many had tipped to play ahead of him
England are now left without a single member of the 2005 bowling attack that won the Ashes. Andrew Flintoff is continuing his recovery from ankle surgery, Simon Jones is still only appearing in occasional one-day matches for Glamorgan and Ashley Giles is ruled out of another summer. It will also be the first time since the Oval Test against Australia in 2001 that none of Hoggard, Steve Harmison or Flintoff have lined up in a Test.
However, Michael Vaughan would rather view the situation as a challenge than a concern. "It's new and exciting to see," he said. "It's a brand new attack with no Harmison, Flintoff, Giles or Simon Jones. We had a great attack in 2005, but it's new and exciting for us all to see how they react to playing in front of a lot of people, against a very good batting team. It's going to be a great challenge for whoever plays."
While England have suffered a run of injuries to their bowlers in the last couple of years, Hoggard remained a constant member of the attack for 40 consecutive games until missing the final Ashes Test at Sydney in January. Since then he has also been hit by a run of injuries and missed two Tests against West Indies after picking up a groin strain at Lord's in May.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Why the Indian opener would be well advised to shelve the hook and pull in Australia