JAMES ANDERSON is a real doubt for this summer’s Ashes after scans revealed he’d suffered a calf muscle tear.
The ECB have confirmed England’s all-time leading Test wicket taker suffered a “low-grade tear” and will be continually reassessed.
Anderson – who was spotted with his England team-mates at Wimbledon this week – limped off the field during Lancashire’s County Championship clash with Durham on Tuesday.
Joe Root’s men kick off their Ashes campaign against old enemy Australia on August 1, with Anderson’s spot for the five-match Test series now in jeopardy.
An ECB statement read: “England seam bowler Jimmy Anderson, who left the field during Lancashire’s Specsavers County Championship match against Durham at Sedbegh School on Tuesday July 2 due to tightness to his right calf, underwent an MRI scan on Friday.
“The MRI confirmed that Anderson has suffered a low grade calf muscle tear.
“As a result of the injury, he will commence a rehabilitation programme with the England and Lancashire CCC medical teams.
“Anderson will miss Lancashire’s next two Championship matches against Northants and Sussex.
“He will be reassessed on an ongoing basis regarding his availability for the Specsavers Test match versus Ireland at Lord‘s on July 24 and the Specsavers Ashes Series against Australia starting on August 1.”
Despite his advancing years, now aged 36, Anderson is still widely considered as the best exponent of swing bowling in the world.
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The “Burnley Lara” continues to wreak havoc with the new ball, particular the Dukes ball in English conditions – and is the leading Test wicket taker amongst all seamers in history.
And with the Ashes on home soil this summer, the absence of Anderson – who’s taken 575 wickets in his five-day career – could be crippling.
Should that be the case, England may have to swap out swing, guile and experience for raw pace – with 95mph speed kings Jofra Archer and Mark Wood impressing at the World Cup.