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England wicketkeeper Jos Buttler suffers thumb fracture

Jos Buttler faces a spell on the sidelines after fracturing his thumb in Lancashire's NatWest T20 Blast match against Worcestershire on Friday.

Buttler suffered the injury while keeping and though he was able to bat and crunched 57 off 22 balls, subsequent x-rays confirmed the damage, but he does not require an operation which would have led to a lengthier period out.

A Lancashire statement said: "Jos Buttler received a blow to his left thumb during Friday night's T20...X-rays later revealed he sustained a small stable fracture which will be managed conservatively."

No specific timeline for the recovery was stated but the indications are that he could be fit for the one-day series against Pakistan which starts on August 24 although it may be touch-and-go for him to keep wicket. If he wasn't able to take the gloves, Jonny Bairstow or Sam Billings would step in.

The injury also raises the question of who would be the next in line for the gloves in Test cricket should Bairstow suffer an injury over the next few weeks.

Billings is the England Lions wicketkeeper while Surrey's Ben Foakes would be another option unless England changed tact and selected a more refined gloveman, who was perhaps a lesser batsman, knowing they have a deep batting order.

The injury is a blow to Lancashire's T20 Blast ambitions, as they aim to secure a place in the quarter-finals in a bid to defend their title, and hopes of progressing in the Royal London Cup. They are currently fifth in the North Group in the Blast and second bottom in the Royal London Cup, although just three points behind the leaders.

Buttler was Man of the Match in the final ODI against Sri Lanka in Cardiff and in the T20I at the Ageas Bowl. In the latter of those matches, he opened the batting, making a career-best 73 off 49 balls, and it was the same position he occupied for Lancashire against Worcestershire.

Trevor Bayliss, the England coach, had raised the possibility of Buttler playing as a specialist batsman in the Test side even though he has not played first-class cricket since being dropped from the format last October.

However, the selectors decided he needed time back in red-ball cricket but now he faces a longer wait for that chance. Before the injury, he potentially had three Championship matches - against Durham, Hampshire and Yorkshire - to reacquaint himself with the format before England resumed one-day cricket later in August.