Ashes 2019: England’s James Anderson apologised after injuring calf

A “distraught” James Anderson apologized to his England team-mates after bowling only four overs because of a calf injury on day one of the opening Ashes Test against Australia, says Stuart Broad.

Anderson, 37, is awaiting the results of a scan after feeling tightness in his calf while bowling at Edgbaston. He tore the same right calf playing for Lancashire last month.

“He feels like he has let the bowling group down, but he hasn’t,” said Broad, who took 5-86.

“He is a bit quiet and a bit frustrated,” he told BBC Radio 5 Live.

“He came up to the bowlers and said sorry, but there is nothing to be sorry about.

“We don’t know the full extent yet. All we can hope is the news is better than we expect.”

England ended the first day on 10-0, trailing by 274 after Steve Smith’s stunning 144 helped Australia recover from 122-8 to make 284.

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Anderson, England’s all-time leading Test wicket-taker, managed to field for most of the rest of the first session after injuring his calf but left the ground at lunch.

After suffering the tear on 2 July, he missed Lancashire’s next two County Championship matches and England’s 143-run win against Ireland last week, with the Ashes marking his return to action.

It is currently not known if it is a recurrence of the same injury.

Broad bowled 22.4 overs on Thursday, Chris Woakes 21, Ben Stokes 18 and off-spinner Moeen Ali 13.

Broad added: “If Jimmy isn’t going to be able to bowl again in the match then Moeen will be our key man. He bowled beautifully today.”

Although England has pace bowlers in reserve – Jofra Archer, Sam Curran, and Olly Stone were in the squad for this match – the uncapped Archer is only just returning from a side injury and will play for Sussex second XI next week in order to prove his fitness.

Mark Wood is also out for a lengthy period with a side injury.

The second Test of the five-match series starts on 14 August at Lord’s.

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‘Massive turning point in the series’ – analysis

Ex-England captain Michael Vaughan: “The Anderson injury is a massive turning point in this series. It looks like he won’t be available for a few weeks.

“In hindsight, maybe Jimmy should have played last week to see if his legs could stand up to a Test match.”

BBC cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew: “It is a massive blow to England. Jimmy Anderson should have played last week. For all the bowling in the nets, it doesn’t replicate a game.”

Former Australia bowler Glenn McGrath: “When you’ve got an experienced bowler, one of the best of all time – and in-home conditions, there is no-one better in the world – it’s a huge blow.”

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