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Jos Buttler reports for England training after recovering from thigh bruising

Jos Buttler goes for the scoop Getty Images

Jos Buttler has given England a significant boost by reporting fit for training in Southampton, following a thigh injury sustained during last week's victory over Bangladesh.

Buttler did not keep wicket in Cardiff on Saturday - Jonny Bairstow took the gloves - after sustained heavy bruising after being hit by a delivery while batting. But he has recovered well and is all but certain to play in Friday's match against West Indies.

"He'll be fine," England coach, Trevor Bayliss, said. "He'll be back and able to practice fully. It was a bit precautionary the other day. He could have kept. We just weren't really sure if he would have been able to sprint after a high catch."

Moeen Ali was absent from Wednesday's session, however. He was at the bedside of his wife, Firuza, as she gave birth to their second child, a daughter named Haadiya. He is expected to re-join the squad in time for training on Thursday morning, and is likely to return to the team for Friday's game in place of one of the seamers. Bayliss hinted that the final place in the side would probably be between the new-ball bowler Chris Woakes or middle-overs seamer Liam Plunkett.

"Southampton is somewhere where we have played two spinners in the past," Bayliss said. "If Moeen does come back in - and we'll have to have a look at the wicket first - then it is one of the pace bowlers who misses out. It is a difficult decision: you've got one guy who bowls up front [Woakes] who can get the ball to move off the seam versus a guy [Plunkett] that is the leading wicket-taker through those middle overs over the last few years. It's a difficult decision and I can't tell you right at this moment who would miss out."

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The statistics would suggest Plunkett might have the better chance of retaining his place. He has been England's most economical bowler in the tournament to date - he is conceding just 4.86 runs per over on average - and has claimed three wickets at an average of 24.33. Woakes has been England's most expensive bowler - he is conceding 7.71 runs per over - and has claimed three wickets at a cost of 54 apiece. Woakes is the better batsman and fielder, however, and bowls in the first Powerplay, so the comparison is not entirely valid.

A glance at the pitch - which is nowhere near as green as the surface seen in the match against Bangladesh - suggests England will recall Moeen. The playing area in Southampton is also much larger than the one in Cardiff - it is probably the largest among international grounds in England and Wales - so there is less chance of mis-hits carrying over the boundary.

While Bayliss admitted to some concerns over the form of Adil Rashid, who came into the World Cup with a shoulder injury, he also expressed confidence in his anticipated contributions in the remainder of the tournament.

"I think what he needs is more bowling whether that is in the nets or in a match," Bayliss said. "He did have a niggle in his shoulder, but over this last couple of weeks he hasn't had anywhere near as much of a problem with it. I don't think the wickets have necessarily been an advantage to the spinners yet, but the further we go through the competition and maybe get a bit of drier weather and play on used pitches, he may come into his own."

England's training session was heavily curtailed by rain on Wednesday afternoon, though West Indies were able to train in the morning. Andre Russell was a noticeable absentee - he missed the match against South Africa due to his chronic knee problem - though the team management remain confident he will be fit for Friday. Evin Lewis, however, was able to return to training after recovering from a hand injury.