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December 29, 2009
England suffered an injury scare shortly before the start of the fourth day's play in Durban when Paul Collingwood dislocated his left index finger during fielding practice.
He was seen leaving the field with the team doctor and was taken to hospital for an x-ray which showed there was no fracture. Collingwood made 91 on the second day of the match before falling to JP Duminy shortly before the close, and has been one of England's in-form batsmen throughout the tour.
Having been named Man of the Series in the ODIs, Collingwood made 50 in the first innings of the first Test at Centurion, before a vital unbeaten 26 off 99 deliveries on the final day helped England secure a draw with nine wickets down.
Now that the injury has been shown to be purely a dislocation it appears to be less of a potential headache for the management. There is no specialist reserve batsman in the squad with all six in the starting line up. Luke Wright is currently the spare batting option, but his inclusion would alter the balance of the side.
In the last couple of weeks England have overcome a run of injuries that occurred during the one-day series and in the lead-up to the Tests. Jimmy Anderson (knee), Graeme Swann (side), Ryan Sidebottom (side), Stuart Broad (shoulder), Graham Onions (back) and Alastair Cook (back) have all spent time on the sidelines at various points.