England hope Ben Stokes will be fit for fourth ODI despite ankle injury

Allrounder understood to have rolled his ankle while practising boundary catching on the eve of the game

George Dobell
George Dobell
Jonny Bairstow is set to reclaim the wicketkeeping role, St Lucia, February 8, 2019

Ben Stokes undergoes a fitness test  •  Getty Images

Ben Stokes was forced out of the third ODI in Grenada with an ankle injury, although Trevor Bayliss, England's head coach, expects to have him available for the next match on Wednesday.
Stokes, who heads England's batting averages in the series and has also bowled more overs than anyone in the England side, is understood to have rolled his ankle while practising boundary catching on the eve of the game.
Although he attended warm-up with the rest of the squad on Monday morning, he quickly returned to the dressing room after attempting to run. However, after the game was washed out, Bayliss said the "conservative approach" to rest Stokes was merely precautionary.
"He should be fine in two days' time," Bayliss said. "It's one of those things, he could have batted and fielded today. He said he could feel his ankle a little bit warming up to bowl. We took a conservative approach today and decided not to chance making it worse. I'd be surprised if he's not right for Wednesday.
"He is important to the squad, as we've shown in the past we've gone into one-day tournaments with only five bowlers. We did in Australia 12 months ago and were able to win. It's not perfect for us but with the players we've got in the team and the squad we're more than capable of winning without him.
"He was probably not as confident as I've seen him before when we asked him was he right to play. So straight away it was an easy decision and a learning process for him about how he can look after his body a little better."
Stokes' place in the XI named by England at the delayed toss was taken by Alex Hales, who was set to play his first game of the series. However, persistent rainfall through the day eventually led to an abandonment.
Stokes was also an injury concern ahead of the third Test after sustaining a bruised right heel. The new injury will do nothing to ease concerns over his workload with the bat, the ball and in the field. England have already announced the decision to rest him from the three T20I games that conclude this tour after the ODIs. The five-match ODI series is level at 1-1.
In more bad news for England, they have been penalised for a slow over-rate in the last ODI in Barbados, with the ICC expected to announce punishments in due course.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo