SPINNER Graeme Swann gave England an injury scare yesterday in the first practice session since the squad arrived in Australia to defend the Ashes.
Swann needed ice treatment and strapping (right) after being hit on his bowling hand by a delivery from Tim Bresnan during a nets session in Perth.
The key bowler missed the rest of England’s training routine but the blow to his thumb is not thought to be serious.
“He’s fine. It’s just a bit of precautionary strapping,” said team-mate Stuart Broad. “I don’t think he’s in any trouble at all. He just got a bit of a blow, which you’re used to in nets.”
Broad joked:?“I think he’s pleased his thumb got him out of the running.”
Swann later took to his Twitter page to reassure England supporters, writing: “Thanks to both of you who enquired about my thumb. It’s fine.”
Fast bowlers James Anderson and Chris Tremlett both suffered rib injuries last month but were able to take full part in training.
Anderson is still considered a slight doubt for England’s first match of the tour, against Western Australia, which begins on Friday morning in Perth.
Australia suffered a blow to their Ashes preparations when they were beaten by Sri Lanka in Sunday’s Twenty20 clash, but Broad is determined not to read much into the result.
He said: “It’s a completely different format of the game, and I think there are only two or three players who were involved last night and look in the frame for the first Ashes Test match.”