James Anderson is confident he'll be fit for the World Cup after flying home early from the CB Series in Australia. After feeling a twinge in his back mid-way through the tournament - and given his history of back trouble - the England managed decided not to risk aggravating the problem.
The caution was understandable given Anderson's traumatic time following his return from India when he was diagnosed with a stress fracture. He was left in a back brace for six weeks and played only one Championship match during the 2006 season.
"I was worried when it first happened because it is in a similar area to the problem I had last year and was quite sore," Anderson told the Lancashire Evening Telegraph. "But while last year it didn't get any better, this time it has improved with simple rest. The scans also looked good.
"I wasn't in any pain when I left Australia, and could have played in the last four or five matches, but the management wanted me to go home as a precaution to ensure I was fit for the World Cup, especially because it was in a similar area to the problem I had last year.
Anderson has been back in the nets at Old Trafford since returning home, but has stuck to batting although is hopeful of getting back to his day job very soon. "I have been doing quite a lot of strength work to help build up the area around my back. And I have also changed my action to take a bit of pressure off my back and that seems to have worked.
But after the problems of the last year Anderson is just grateful to have chance at the World Cup, the tournament where he burst onto the scene in 2003 by routing Pakistan at Cape Town. "I think back to when I was sat with a brace on my back not being able to do anything, so to have a World Cup to look forward to is great."