Ben Stokes: England all-rounder working hard on fitness, says Chris Woakes
Stokes bowled just two overs on day one of the second Test in New Zealand after appearing to injure his left knee
Last Updated: 29/11/19 8:45am
Chris Woakes admitted the possibility of losing Ben Stokes' bowling as England seek to level the Test series against New Zealand at Hamilton would be a major blow.
Stokes was limited to two overs with the ball after being in visible discomfort with an apparent injury to his left knee during the rain-affected second Test at Seddon Park.
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England confirmed Stokes will be assessed before a decision is taken on whether he can bowl in the remainder of the innings.
"Ben's overs are not just a bonus, he's a world-class bowler when he's at his best," Woakes said. "Of course we'll move his overs, whether he can bowl or not I don't know.
"He's obviously got a bit of pain in that left knee, I don't know exactly what it is but of course we want a Ben Stokes at full tilt if we can because he's world class."
Stokes underwent surgery on his left knee in May 2016 and had further issues with it in 2017.
He could now be rested ahead of the start of England's four-Test series against South Africa in December.
"Ben is one of the hardest trainers and works hard on his fitness and everything," Woakes added. "Hopefully we can get that right. The medical team will be working really hard to do that.
"There's a bit of a gap between the end of this Test match and the start of the South Africa one so hopefully [they can] get him as close to 100 per cent as possible."
Tom Latham punished Stokes for dropping him on 66 by completing his 11th Test ton and ensuring New Zealand ended day one on 173-3 from 54.3 overs.
"Ben, in particular, is probably the hardest trainer I've ever seen, particularly when it comes to his fielding and his catching," Woakes said.
"It's just the way it goes. Unfortunately we've put a couple down and it's hurt us, hopefully this one won't hurt us quite as badly as the last one did."