Anderson hopeful of Oval return

England pace spearhead Jimmy Anderson is confident of being fit to return for the fifth Ashes Test at The Oval despite being diagnosed with a side strain.

Anderson, who kick-started Australia’s eight-wicket defeat at Edgbaston with a six-wicket first innings haul, pulled up sharply in the second innings and immediately left the field.

He was subsequently ruled out of next week’s fourth Test at Trent Bridge.

There had been speculation the 33-year-old would miss the remainder of the series but he insists there is a chance he could be available for what could potentially be the biggest Ashes Test ever should Australia win in Nottingham next week.

“I’m not going to play the next game, unfortunately, but I’m hoping I can get myself fit for the Oval,” Anderson said.

“It’s a bit sore, I felt something on one of the deliveries yesterday and Stuart Broad, who’s had experience of that sort of injury, said ‘Don’t bowl another ball and risk it’. I set off for another one and then thought, he’s right.

“I’ve never had that sort of injury before. I felt a bit stiff, I just put it down to that and the next ball I could feel something so I came off.”

Former bowling greats Glenn McGrath and Ian Botham have both experienced similar injuries and been sceptical about Anderson’s chances, but England’s leading ever wicket-taker said the prognosis is good.

“The last 24 hours has been talking to the medical team and trying to figure out if it is realistic,” he said, of his chances of playing at The Oval.

“They were pretty happy with me this morning, checked me over and were happy it didn’t look too serious, so that’s what I’m aiming for.”

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