England seamer James Anderson is a major doubt for the first Test of the summer against South Africa at Lord’s in July after sustaining a tear to his right groin.
Anderson, who is England’s leading Test wicket-taker of all time with 467 scalps, incurred the injury on the opening morning of last week’s County Championship clash between Roses rivals Lancashire and Yorkshire at Emirates Old Trafford.
The 34-year-old will now be assessed by the England and Wales Cricket Board’s medical team, although he is expected to be sidelined for between four and six weeks. The first Test starts on 6 July.
“A scan has confirmed that Lancashire and England seamer James Anderson has a tear to his right groin,” read an ECB statement.
“Anderson will miss Lancashire’s County Championship Division One match against Yorkshire at Headingley commending Friday 2 June.”
The early stage of the international summer is dominated by white-ball cricket and England continue their preparations for next month’s Champions Trophy with a three-match one-day series against South Africa, which starts today at Headingley.
Skipper Eoin Morgan will be able to call upon all-rounder Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes and Jos Buttler, who were all given dispensation to miss the one-day series with Ireland in May, following their Indian Premier League commitments.
England have never won a piece of major international 50-over silverware but are favourites for the Champions Trophy on home soil. All-rounder David Willey insists his side are good value for their status.
“We’re down as favourites which I think is fair,” said Willey. “We’ve got a very good side, we play an aggressive style of cricket and Morgs [Eoin Morgan] leads from the front with that. It’s going to be an exciting tournament.”