Jimmy Anderson has managed to crack a rib in the boxing ring while on a England cricket team bonding trip.
Ahead of the first Ashes Test, which starts on November 25th, the England cricket team headed to Germany to improve team relations, and Anderson is believed to have cracked his rib in a sparring session.
But the ECB have confirmed that he will fly with the rest of the squad when they leave for Australia on October 29th but is unlikely to play much of a part in England’s warm-up games.
“It is anticipated that he will be fit and available for the first Test in Brisbane,” said an ECB statement – a Test match England are 2/1 to win.
But the injury to the man who has taken 17 wickets in eight matches will be a big blow to England, and Anderson’s preparation is sure to be hindered by this setback.
Anderson is joint 4/1 second favourite to be England’s top wicket taker in the Ashes series, along with Stuart Broad and Steven Finn.
Graeme Swann is the 1/1 favourite to be the top wicket taker and with every reason as he continues to prove himself as one of the greatest spin bowlers in the world.
But Anderson and Monty Panesar are the only England bowlers to have experience playing against Australia in their own country and with Panesar playing second fiddle to Swann, Anderson will be the chief bowler down under.
His experience will be vital in helping Broad, Finn and Swann adapt to the Australian conditions and his lack of preparation could hand the advantage to Australia who are 10/11 to win the first Test.
After Australia’s defeat in India, the first Test has become a crucial tie as both sides search for confidence.
England are 9/4 to win the series. See the full The Ashes betting odds market here.