England v Sri Lanka, 3rd Test, Trent Bridge, 3rd day June 4, 2006

Flintoff tops injury concerns

Cricinfo staff

Kevin Pietersen had a rare bowl, but later needed treatment on his hamstring © Getty Images
A tough third day for England at Trent Bridge was compounded by injury concerns to three key players. Paul Collingwood, Kevin Pietersen and Andrew Flintoff all needed patching up at various times although they all finished the day in the field.

The biggest concern will be Flintoff, who had his left ankle heavily strapped, and when he returned for a spell late in the day it lasted just one over with pace in the high 70s rather than high 80s. After bowling 51 in the second innings at Lord's, Flintoff has used himself more carefully over the last two Tests and bowled a rapid spell in the 90mph range on the first day.

During the afternoon Collingwood was sent for an x-ray on the rib that was struck by Lasith Malinga during his 48 on Saturday. He was in some pain at the time but had fielded through the first half of Sunday before leaving for a check. The x-rays confirmed no serious damage although he was still feeling his ribs when he returned.

Pietersen, meanwhile, had to leave the pitch for treatment on a hamstring problem which he had appeared to first feel at Edgbaston. Despite being given his first bowl in Test cricket, Pietersen grabbed his leg on a couple of occasions while fielding in the covers and was still hobbling around after spending a brief period in the dressing room.

While England's walking wounded were off the field Will Smith and Samit Patel, the young Nottinghamshire batsmen, acted as substitutes.