James Anderson has suffered a tear in his calf and is facing a race to be fit for the first Ashes Test next month.
The 36-year-old pulled up while bowling in Lancashire’s County Championship clash with Durham earlier this month.
He did not bowl for the rest of the game and underwent scans to find out the extent of the injury.
The England and Wales Cricket Board released a statement on Sunday that says his availability will be ‘reassessed on an ongoing basis’ for the Test match against Ireland at Lord’s, starting on July 24, and the first Ashes Test against Australia at Edgbaston on August 1.
The ECB statement said: “England seam bowler Jimmy Anderson, who left the field during Lancashire’s Specsavers County Championship match against Durham at Sedbergh School on Tuesday July 2 due to tightness to his right calf, underwent an MRI scan on Friday.
“The MRI confirmed that Anderson has suffered a low grade calf muscle tear. As a result of the injury, he will commence a rehabilitation programme with the England and Lancashire CCC medical teams.
“Anderson will miss Lancashire’s next two Championship matches against Northants and Sussex.
“He will be reassessed on an ongoing basis regarding his availability for the Specsavers Test match versus Ireland at Lord’s on July 24 and the Specsavers Ashes Series against Australia starting on August 1.”
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Anderson is England’s all-time leaking wicket-taker in both Test and ODIs with 575 and 269 respectively.
The fast bowler will be key to England’s chances of winning the Ashes this summer and will be a big loss if he has to sit out any of the Tests.