The Ashes 2010-11 November 26, 2010

Flower has cancerous growth removed

England's coach, Andy Flower, was forced to miss the second day of the opening Ashes Test at the Gabba after undergoing an operation to remove a cancerous growth, or melanoma, in his right cheek.

According to an ECB spokesman, Flower, 42, noticed the growth earlier this week during the final days of England's build-up for the series, and opted to undergo a precautionary operation at a local Brisbane hospital. He is expected to rejoin the squad before the end of the Test.

"As far as he is concerned, it is business as usual," said the spokesman. "He was not at the game today, because he had a melanoma taken out - which was successful. At this stage, he is expected to be fine.

"He went off for a routine check, and they said they felt it prudent to take it out," said the spokesman. "He may well be back on deck tomorrow, or most definitely the following day."

The early removal of such growths is usually almost 100% effective to combating the disease, and the prevention of skin cancer is an issue that is widely promoted in Australia.

In his absence, the fielding coach Richard Halsall has been put in temporary charge of the squad.

Andrew Miller is UK editor of Cricinfo.