James Anderson is to be rested for the next six weeks after experiencing a recurrence of discomfort in a long-standing right shoulder injury.
Anderson, England's leading Test wicket-taker, suffered a stress fracture in the shoulder during the summer of 2016. It has continued to trouble him and he has previously said that it hurts even when brushing his teeth or putting on a shirt.
With a five Test series coming up against India, England are desperate to have Anderson fully fit. So the team management have taken the decision to rest him from Lancashire's next two Championship fixtures against Worcestershire and Hampshire. He will instead "take a six-week period of rehabilitation" according to an ECB statement.
"We have five Tests against India in a six-week period from August 1, which will be an intense and challenging period for all our bowlers," Trevor Bayliss, the England coach, said. "Therefore it's vital that we ensure Jimmy goes into that series in the best possible condition.
"Jimmy has to manage the issue with his right shoulder and we've been advised that the best way for him to prepare for the India series is to take a six-week break from cricket now, initially to rest it and then to work slowly back to cricket.
"That six-week period covers Lancashire's two Championship matches over the next the next three weeks. We will then monitor to see where Jimmy is at and ensuring he is ready for the India series."