James Anderson targets return at The Oval
England pacer James Anderson, who has been ruled out of the fourth Ashes Test due to a side strain, is aiming to be fit in time for the final match of the series at The Oval.
Reflecting on his injury which came late on the second day of the Edgbaston Test, Anderson maintained that it wasn’t a complicated issue.
"It's not as serious as we thought at first,” said Anderson to BBC Radio 5 Live.
“I'll be aiming to get myself ready in three weeks for The Oval.”
Anderson's absence for the fourth Test at Trent Bridge will be a big blow for England, particularly considering the pacer’s enormous success at the venue having snared 53 wickets there.
Although he wasn’t able to pinpoint the precise reason behind the side strain, Anderson feels that the wear and tear of a long career as a pacer may have started to take its toll on his body.
Elaborating on his injury, which saw him leave the field midway through an over, Anderson stated that the strain had been building for a few deliveries before he decided to pull out.
"It's a bit sore, I felt something on one of the deliveries," he added.
"It could be a number of things.
“It was on my 33rd birthday, after 12 years of professional cricket - that might have something to do with it.”
Unlike other fast bowlers of his generation, Anderson has generally had an injury-free career thus far which has been a symbol of his excellent fitness.
The 33-year-old pacer, whose six-wicket haul in the first innings at Edgbaston set up England’s convincing victory, hopes to make a comeback as soon as possible.
"Injuries happen to fast bowlers.
“I've been very fortunate in the last few years that I've not had many so you've just got to take it on the chin.
“Hopefully I can come back stronger."
Conceding that Anderson’s absence in Nottingham will be a major blow, fellow pacer Stuart Broad exuded confidence when asked about his new-ball partner’s probability for the final Test.
With the series having been a roller-coaster ride until now, Broad is wary of the boost Anderson will provide at The Oval, especially if the series is on the line at that time.
"It is a big loss but Jimmy is more positive than when he left the field on Thursday," he told Sky Sports.
"He thought he had gone in the side but got back from the scan and was confident he would be OK for The Oval.
“That will be a big bonus."
The teams have a five-day break before the fourth Ashes Test begins at Trent Bridge on Thursday.
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