Jimmy Anderson is set to miss England’s tour of Bangladesh due to the shoulder injury that dogged his summer, giving the team management a headache over his fitness before the Test series against India in November.
Anderson, 34, has not played since the Test series with Pakistan in August in order to help him recover from the stress fracture to his right shoulder blade that was discovered earlier in the season and caused a selection row before the Lord’s Test with Pakistan. But it is understood that scans this week have shown that a longer break is now required in order to complete the healing process, with the two-Test series against Bangladesh that starts in Chittagong on 20 October expected to be too soon.
Jake Ball, the Nottinghamshire seamer, will provide cover for Anderson after being asked to stay on after the one-day leg of the tour that begins on Thursday when England, who will be captained by Jos Buttler after Eoin Morgan pulled out for security reasons, depart for Dhaka.
Anderson was not expected to play both Tests against Bangladesh, with England intending to rotate their seam bowlers. But the delay to his recovery causes a problem before the five-Test series with India, given there are no warm-up fixtures scheduled in between.
It means England’s record wicket-taker, if passed fit, would go into the first Test with India in Rajkot on 9 November having not bowled competitively for three months. Only last week he voiced concerns over the gruelling winter schedule, in which England play seven Tests against Bangladesh and India in the space of two months.
Anderson said: “It’s a tough one because as a player, if you’re fit, you want to play, simple as that. No matter what the format, you’re desperate to play.
“But there may well come a time when it will get managed. At 34 I probably have to manage myself, or be managed, quite well. You want, if possible, to play every Test but India is going to be five back-to-back and that’s a huge ask for any bowler.”
Unless match practice can be arranged, an undercooked Anderson would be a concern for the captain Alastair Cook and the head coach, Trevor Bayliss, as they look to beat an India side that has not lost a Test at home since the 2-1 series defeat to England in 2012.
England delayed the naming of their centrally contracted players for the next 12 months until Thursday morning, with a new set of deals for one-day players set to be announced also.