Matt Prior To Take A Break
England wicket-keeper Matthew Prior has stepped back from international duty for the remainder of the summer due to injury.
Prior made a late start to the domestic season due to injury before regaining his place in the England team for the series against Sri Lanka and the first two matches against India.
However, after a run of poor scores and an uncharacteristic number of dropped catches behind the stumps, he is to take time out to return to full fitness.
He is expected to undergo surgery to correct a long-standing Achilles problem but revealed that he has also struggled with thigh and hand injuries.
"I'm not doing justice to myself and more importantly the team and that is what matters first and foremost," Prior said in a statement posted on the England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) website (www.ecb.co.uk).
"I tore my quad before the first Test and my right hand has been beaten to a pulp, but the main issue is the Achilles.
"Now we have the time, I want to be pro-active about how we deal with it so I imagine that I'll have an operation.
"I've always said as long as I can do my job I will manage the pain and get on with it, but it has now got to the point where I can't do my job to the level I expect of myself."
Prior made his Test debut in 2007, going on to win 79 caps and was part of the England side that won the Ashes in 2009, 2010/11 and 2013.
He understands, however, that the decision to stand aside now, at the age of 32, means he could have played his final Test.
"It is a huge decision and not one I've taken lightly obviously because I could have played my last game," he said.
"I've made my decision for the good of the team and whoever comes in I genuinely wish them the best of luck and hope they go well and perform and help the team win. That is all I want.
"If that happens and I don't play again, then that was my lot. I'll be disappointed because there are a few things that I wanted to achieve and thought I would, but I can also look back and know I did some pretty good things."
Prior's withdrawal would appear to open the door for Lancashire's Jos Buttler, who was called up as last-minute cover for Prior ahead of the first Test against India at Trent Bridge, unless the England selectors decide to go with a more experienced option such as Chris Read or James Foster.
England drew at Trent Bridge before going on to lose by 95 runs at Lord's to go 1-0 down in the five-match series.
© Cricket World 2014