Glenn McGrath was ruled out of the second Test shortly before the start of play on Thursday, after suffering a freak injury during Australia's pre-match warm-up. He is now a major doubt for next week's third Test at OId Trafford as well, having sustained a grade two tear to the lateral ligaments of his right ankle.
McGrath, 35, trod on a stray cricket ball during a game of touch-rugby and had to be helped into a groundsman's buggy by his team-mates. His place in the side was taken by fellow seamer Michael Kasprowicz, who picked up five wickets in the drawn warm-up match against Worcestershire this week.
"Glenn rolled his ankle during the early stages of training," Errol Alcott, the team physiotherapist, told AFP. "There's nothing obvious in the X-rays regarding bone abnormalities but we are awaiting further expert reports from a radiologist this [Thursday] afternoon." McGrath returned to the dressing-room where his foot was elevated while the injury was iced.
Australia's captain, Ricky Ponting, won the toss and chose to bowl first even though his spearhead was sidelined. "I guess the good thing about it is that Kasper took five wickets in the tour game during the week so he's in pretty good touch as well and I'm looking forward to seeing him bowl."
This is the first Ashes Test McGrath has missed since Sydney in 2003 where England won by 225 runs. At Lord's, where Australia won the first Test by 239 runs, McGrath became only the fourth bowler to take 500 Test wickets, as Australia went 1-0 up in the five-Test series.