Swann 'almost ended' Ashes hopes with 'freak' blow to arm during Essex game

London, July 2 (ANI): English off-spinner Graeme Swann had reportedly put a scare in the team after a blow to his right forearm during the side's warm-up match against Essex almost ended his Ashes series before it began.

The Nottinghamshire player was struck by a short ball, during his knock of 94, from the firebrand fast bowler Tymal Mills, who further caused concern by landing another ball on Tim Bresnan's chin, the Mirror reports.

The report further said that England's plans for this summer's series against Australia, a little more than a week away, stayed in limbo until news revealed that an X-ray on Swann's arm has shown only bruising and no break, adding that it is hoped that Swann will field and bowl at some point during the game, while Bresnan already has.

Admitting his concern over the incident, Bresnan however, said that he could see that Swann could grip the bat which suggested that he had not broken his arm, although he added that the soreness will be a reminder to Swann that he is only a ball away from an injury, which although a part of the game, cannot be afforded in these matches.

Bresnan further said that the team is happy that Swann has not suffered any serious consequences given that they are preparing for a big series coming up soon.

Defending his action, Mills, who is desperate to prove his worth to both Essex and England, said that he was just bowling to his captain Ravi Bopara's orders and could not help it help it if someone got hurt in the process.

According to Mills, they are trying to give the best account of themselves as they are playing in a competitive game, adding that a player needed to use any methods to win a game if he is on the field for 100 overs.

Stating that he had spoken to Swann after the incident, Mills insisted that there were no hard feelings between them, although he admitted that had it been a serious injury, then the response from Swann may have been different.

Swann is arguably the most important member of captain Alastair Cook's team and the thought of him missing out on the Ashes was enough to send a shiver through the dressing room, the report added. (ANI)

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