England bowler James Anderson is a major doubt for the fourth test against India after picking up a thigh strain.
England will also definitely be without Chris Tremlett for the next match, who will miss out because of a back injury.
Now, with Anderson also struggling for fitness, Graham Onions has been drafted in as cover.
National Selector, Geoff Miller, said: “Chris’s absence in conjunction with what appears to be a minor injury concern with Jimmy Anderson has led to a call up for Graham Onions as precautionary bowling cover.
“We are hopeful that Jimmy will overcome this niggle by Thursday but more time is required before a decision on his availability can be made conclusively.”
England – now the world’s No.1 test side – have an insurmountable 3-0 lead in the four test series but will find things harder going at the Oval.
Anderson has been a central figure in England’s brilliant summer, taking 18 wickets against the Indians at 24.27 and is now the world’s No.2 ranked bowler.
While Onions has a similar style, he hasn’t played a test in nearly two years and isn’t currently in the same class as the Lancashire man.
England are 11/10 to win the fourth test but, with the series already sewn up, and Anderson looking like he might miss out, backing India to reclaim some pride with a win looks a very tempting bet at 9/2.