Mark Wood faced a nervous night pondering his World Cup fate after injury forced him out of England’s warm-up defeat against Australia.
The paceman abandoned his run-up mid-way through his first spell at the Ageas Bowl and left the field feeling pain in his left foot.
Wood’s history of ankle problems immediately raised concerns and, although he ran towards the pavilion rather than limping, he never re-emerged and was instead sent to a nearby hospital for scans.
Captain Eoin Morgan made the same journey just 24 hours earlier and was ultimately diagnosed with a small fracture in his left index finger.
That ruled him out of the 12-run loss but he expects to be passed fit for the curtain-raiser against South Africa next Thursday.
Wood would love to be given similarly positive news but though he appeared to be in good spirits as he returned to the team hotel, which forms part of Hampshire’s stadium complex, the outlook was uncertain on Saturday evening.
Jos Buttler, deputising for Morgan as skipper, said: “We’ll see how it turns out in the morning. It can be a worry for him.
“He’s worked really hard and it’s something he’s battled a bit which is a frustration for him. He puts in all the work, the medical staff are great with him, and I’m sure he’s in the best hands.
“We hope for the best for him.”
This was only Wood’s second appearance of the season, with an output totalling just 13.1 overs, thin workload for somebody heading into an intensive 10-team competition featuring games every few days.
England’s management were careful to manage his burden for Durham due to doubts over his ankle and keen to preserve a player who has the express pace to be the quickest bowler at the tournament.
He is a dangerous enough asset to earn the benefit of any marginal calls on his availability, but England have long been aware they may need to send for replacements over the course of a lengthy competition.
“Unfortunately in professional sport things like this happen,” acknowledged Buttler.
“Around a World Cup everything is heightened because you want everyone to be fit and firing. We’ll go through the six weeks and we’ll have niggles in our team but so will other teams. It’s just the nature of the game.
“It’s always a bit of a worry because you want everyone to sail through the tournament 100 per cent fit but that’s not the nature of how things are going to happen.”
David Willey stands by having been the last seamer to miss out on the final cut of 15, but England would much prefer Wood to get the all clear.
There were no real concerns over Liam Dawson, the Hampshire spinner suffering a painful blow while backing up the stumps and subsequently being removed from the batting line-up.
“Liam could have batted if it had been a World Cup game, it’s just a cut on his finger, but as they are warm-ups you can play it safe,” Buttler said.
“We want these guys fit and available for the first game of the World Cup.”
Provided by Press Association Sport
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