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James Anderson: ECB confirms groin injury to England seamer ahead of Test summer

ECB says James Anderson's fitness to be assessed ahead of Test against Ireland from June 1, with the seamer expected to still be named in the squad despite the groin strain; Chennai Super Kings coach Stephen Fleming says "bowling a challenge" for England captain Ben Stokes at the moment

James Anderson
Image: James Anderson is England's leading wicket-taker in Test cricket with 685 in 179 caps

The ECB released a statement on Sunday confirming England and Lancashire seamer James Anderson has sustained a mild strain to his right groin.

Anderson was missing for a third-straight day as Lancashire's County Championship clash with Somerset ended in a draw, with head coach Glen Chapple saying after the game: "I don't think it's anything too serious."

The ECB said Anderson's fitness "will be assessed nearer the time of the LV= Insurance Test match against Ireland, which takes place at Lord's starting on Thursday 1 June 2022." The 40-year-old is still expected to be names in the squad for the first Test of the summer.

England will be hoping Anderson's injury does not make him a doubt for the opening Test of the Ashes at Edgbaston, starting on Friday June 16, with their bowling stocks already depleted by injuries to pace pair Jofra Archer and Olly Stone.

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England's all-time leading wicket taker James Anderson says it will be a big ask on his body to be able to play all five Ashes Tests against Australia this summer

Archer returned early from the Indian Premier League due to discomfort in his troublesome right elbow, while Stone faces several weeks on the sidelines after injuring his hamstring on duty for Nottinghamshire.

Anderson managed just four overs in the last home series against Australia in 2019, before being ruled out with a calf problem on the opening morning of the series.

Test captain Ben Stokes, meanwhile, has sent down just one over for Chennai Super Kings in the ongoing Indian Premier League, with the franchise's head coach Stephen Fleming saying, "Ben's ability to bowl overs at the moment is still a bit of a challenge".

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The all-rounder has only featured in two games this season, with Chennai currently preferring other overseas players, including England's Moeen Ali, and viewing Stokes as "batting cover".

Stokes' long-standing left knee injury flared up during February's tour of New Zealand, while he picked up a toe issue and then another unspecified "setback" earlier in the IPL season.

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