James Anderson provides Ashes fitness update after Jofra Archer setback

James Anderson has given England a major fitness boost ahead of The Ashes by declaring he expects to be fully fit ‘in a couple of weeks’.

The 40-year-old was named in Ben Stokes’ Ashes squad on Monday despite giving selectors a scare last week after he left the field on day one of Lancashire’s match against Somerset.

Anderson took no further part in the four-day match but his hoping to be available for England’s first Test of the summer against Ireland in a fortnight’s time.

‘I’m not worried about it,” Anderson told the BBC’s Tailenders podcast.

‘It’s obviously not great getting injured but it’s probably the best outcome for what it is, because it’s a low-grade thing and I think in a couple of weeks I’ll be back to full fitness.

‘It’s frustrating because you always want to feel good and get enough bowling in before a series and you want to be fresh, so it’s now about trying to plan the best route through this summer.

‘I felt like I needed to play this game so it’s not ideal, but I’m not stressed about it.’

England squad for Ireland Test

Ben Stokes (Durham), James Anderson (Lancashire), Jonathan Bairstow (Yorkshire), Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire), Harry Brook (Yorkshire), Zak Crawley (Kent), Ben Duckett (Nottinghamshire), Dan Lawrence (Essex), Jack Leach (Somerset), Ollie Pope (Surrey), Matthew Potts (Durham), Ollie Robinson (Sussex), Joe Root (Yorkshire), Chris Woakes (Warwickshire), Mark Wood (Durham)

Jofra Archer, meanwhile has been left ‘distraught’ after yet another injury nightmare saw him ruled out of England’s summer schedule with a new stress fracture in his right elbow.

Archer has not played Test cricket for more than two years but had high hopes of returning to face Australia after a long and arduous journey that has seen him undergo several bouts of surgery on his elbow, as well as a stress fracture of the back which derailed his planned comeback last year.

But he is now facing another extended period on the sidelines and there must now be grave doubts as to whether the 28-year-old will ever again be available for the demands of the five-day format.

Rob Key, director of men’s cricket at the England and Wales Cricket Board, said: ‘He’s got another stress fracture in an elbow that’s been trouble for a long time.

‘I’m hoping at some point Jofra deserves a bit of luck with this, because the poor lad is pretty distraught about what’s happened and it’s only just happened recently.

‘You just hope that luck turns for him at some point as I’m sure it will. I’m sure we will see Jofra back to his best and winning games for England, whatever the format.’

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