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May 23, 2009
Andrew Strauss has admitted that the injuries to Andrew Flintoff and Kevin Pietersen are not ideal, but he isn't fretting about their availability for the Ashes.
Pietersen was ruled out of the one-day series against West Indies with a minor Achilles injury, while Flintoff is unlikely to be fit for the ICC World Twenty20 which starts next month as he recovers from knee surgery.
Pietersen's injury flared up during the second Test against West Indies, at Chester-le-Street, but with both him and Flintoff having played in the IPL it raises further questions about how wise it was to let them both participate with such a packed summer of cricket. Flintoff was forced home mid-way through his stint with the Chennai Super Kings, while Pietersen first felt his Achilles problem at the end of the West Indies tour.
"It's not an ideal situation, but any time you get injuries is not an ideal situation," Strauss said. "It's so hard to second guess whether Fred [Flintoff] would have been injured anyway, you just don't know.
"Thankfully there is still plenty of time before the Ashes and I think we fully expect KP to be ready in 10 days or so - there's no need to panic just yet injury-wise, it's something we can manage."
"I don't think the fact they are not playing right now is a cause for concern. The guys who came in and played in the two-match series played well and that's encouraging rather than something to be concerned about."
The absence of the two key players opens the door for the selectors to assess some of the fringe players with Eoin Morgan likely to make his England debut at Bristol after playing 23 ODIs for Ireland. Morgan is also part of the ICC World Twenty20 squad, but he will be led by a different captain with Andrew Strauss replaced by Paul Collingwood. Strauss, though, is hoping to build on England's 3-2 series win in West Indies.
"We gained some momentum in one-day cricket in the West Indies," Strauss said. "We were a little bit Jekyll and Hyde, up and down, but we came through and won the series and we need two more matches to develop something for the one-day squad."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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