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November 8, 2008
Sidebottom was been left out of England's 12-man squad for their first outing of the tour as he continued to nurse his way back to full health after calf and ankle problems. The latest injury was picked up during England's opening match of the Stanford Super Series, against Middlesex, where Sidebottom managed two overs before feeling further pain.
"I bowled a little bit today and I've been working on a few technical things," Sidebottom said. "At the minute I feel really good, but the medical staff don't want to risk me and suffer a setback which could knock me back a couple of weeks.
"I don't think I'll be available for a couple of matches and I could miss the first one-day international - but I hope I'll be available for selection after that."
After becoming an integral part of England's attack since his surprise recall in 2007, Sidebottom suffered a run of injuries which began during the Test series against South Africa and forced him to miss the subsequent one-day series.
"I've had a bad time with injuries," he said. "But there's nothing you can do about it. You've just got to get on with it. I've been consistent and I've really enjoyed my time with England and I want to carry on playing international cricket."
However, even a fit Sidebottom isn't guaranteed a place in the side after the return to one-day colours of Steve Harmison and the likelihood that England will field two spinners.
Graeme Swann was named to face the Mumbai XI after it was agreed to make the match a 12-a-side contest so that England can test out all their options. Luke Wright, who played two matches during the Stanford Super Series with minimal impact, was overlooked in favour of Ravi Bopara in the most significant change.
Wright has been a regular in the one-day middle order since Kevin Pietersen took charge, even though he has had limited chances to build an innings and is rarely called up to bowl. Bopara wasn't able to secure a regular spot, so these early warm-up matches are an important opportunity for him.
The other members of England's squad to sit out the first match are Alastair Cook and reserve wicketkeeper Tim Ambrose.
England 12 to face Mumbai Ian Bell, Matt Prior (wk), Owais Shah, Kevin Pietersen (capt), Andrew Flintoff, Paul Collingwood, Samit Patel, Ravi Bopara, Graeme Swann, Stuart Broad, Steve Harmison, James Anderson
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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