In a huge blow to England, wicket-keeper Matt Prior may not be fit for the first Ashes Test in Brisbane after a low-grade tear in his calf was revealed from scans.
The 31-year-old Prior has been a regular fixture in the English squad and has played many crucial innings lower down the order. He will be replaced by Jonny Bairstow for the match against New South Wales XI this week. Prior suffered the injury in the warm-up game against Australia A on Saturday.
Prior tweeted this earlier on Monday:
Obviously very disappointed to be missing the game at SCG but doing everything possible to be ready for the 1st Test at the Gabba! #ashes
— Matt Prior (@MattPrior13) November 11, 2013
Ian Bell said that Prior’s absence could be worrisome for the team.
“Matt is a key player for us – as vice-captain, he’s a really important guy to have in our dressing room,” he said.
“It’s a little bit disappointing but I believe there is enough time still for that first Test match to get him fully fit and on the field.
“But it gives Jonny Bairstow an opportunity as well to get the gloves on and get out there. On tours like this in the past we’ve learnt that the more guys that can get cricket as a squad then the better we’ll be. But fingers crossed Matty will be right for Brisbane.