Bairstow sends scare through England camp

By Scott Bailey, Scott Bailey is a Roar Guru

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    Wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow has overcome another England pre-Ashes injury scare, returning to the field in their final warm-up match after suffering a finger problem.

    Bairstow took a delivery on the bounce from paceman Chris Woakes in their tour match against a Cricket Australia XI in Townsville, and immediately showed signs of pain.

    After kicking at the ground and wringing his left hand in pain, he was attended to by English medical staff after the next ball for a lengthy period and taken from the field.

    However, he returned about an hour later with strapping on his middle finger on his left hand, to go along with bandaging that was already on the little finger.

    England officials insisted the problem was only a bruise and that the 28-year-old had not suffered a dislocation.

    England have a back-up wicketkeeping option in Ben Foakes on tour, and he assumed the gloves briefly in Bairstow’s absence.

    The 24-year-old Foakes is yet to play international cricket.

    Bairstow’s position in the team adds crucial balance to England’s batting line-up, given he has averaged 39.77 in 45 Tests since debuting in 2012.

    The blow threatened to add to a horror opening fortnight for England, who have already lost paceman Steve Finn for the tour due to a knee injury, while fellow quick Jake Ball (ankle) is racing the clock to be fit for the Gabba Test.

    It’s also unclear whether Ben Stokes will join the group amid the ongoing the investigation into an alleged brawl in September in a Bristol street.

    In better news for England, opening bowler James Anderson returned to training on Wednesday after missing practice on Tuesday through illness.

    © AAP 2018

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