The England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has confirmed that batsman Ian Bell has been ruled out of the upcoming Test series against Pakistan.
"Ian Bell has officially been ruled out of the npower Test Series against Pakistan," the ECB posted on its Twitter page.
Warwickshire player Bell fractured a bone in his foot while attempting to take a catch during the second One-Day International against Bangladesh at Bristol, a game which England went on to lose with Bell stranded at the non-strikers end when the final wicket fell.
Bell was immediately replaced for the final match by Ravi Bopara and his participation in the four-match Test series, which begins on 29th July at Trent Bridge, was also in doubt.
“Ian underwent a routine operation last night on the fractured metatarsal in his left foot," ECB medical officer Nick Peirce said in an ECB statement.
“He will now undergo a course of rehabilitation that will see him ruled out of the upcoming Pakistan npower Test series.
“We expect Ian to make a full recovery, but his participation in the NatWest Series against Pakistan in September will be reviewed in due course once he has made significant progress with his rehabilitation programme.”
The injury comes as a bitter blow for Bell, who scored a century against Bangladesh in the Test series and a classy unbeaten 84 in the at Trent Bridge.
Bell has played 57 Tests for England, scoring 3,863 runs at an average of 42.92 with 11 centuries.
England will not play another Test match until the Ashes tour, which limits Bell's chances to impress ahead of the series and could allow the likes of Bopara or Eoin Morgan to instead claim a place in the middle order.
© Cricket World 2010