England in India, 2005-06 January 25, 2006

Giles' optimism fading fast

Cricinfo staff

Despite his optimism of a full recovery in time for England's tour, Ashley Giles' chances appear to be receding © AFP
Ashley Giles' chances of being fit for England's tour of India appear to be diminishing, with the news that his recovery has stalled. Giles, who returned from England's tour of Pakistan early after struggling with a long-term hip injury, has yet to resume bowling and was referred back to a specialist last night.

"Ashley hasn't made the progress that we'd want him to make and he's got some concerns that we share," Peter Gregory, the ECB's chief medical officer, told The Daily Telegraph. "Before we start to push him too hard we thought it sensible to seek a further opinion from the specialist."

England leave for India on February 12 and have two warm-up matches before the first Test at Nagpur on March 1. The selectors have yet to name the 16th member of the touring party until confirmation is received on Giles' fitness; a medical bulletin on his condition is expected from the ECB today.

Although Monty Panesar, from Northamptonshire, has been making the headlines most recently, the selectors seem certain to opt for Ian Blackwell should Giles not recover in time. The identity of the remaining place in the squad is expected within the week.