Flintoff~~s injury swells England~~s selection problems

Published: Friday, August 16, 2002, 21:31 [IST]
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London: England all-rounder Andrew Flintoff was to see a surgeon later on Thursday in a bid to find out just how bad his persistent groin injury really is.

Flintoff's fitness is a major worry for England's selectors in the build up to Saturday's announcement of the squad for next week's third Test against India at Headingley. After the conclusion of the drawn second Test at Trent Bridge on Monday, England captain Nasser Hussain admitted that Flintoff's participation while injured was "slightly unprofessional". Lancashire star Flintoff had a scan on Tuesday. But this was inconclusive so England have ordered a second consultation "for a further assessment on his groin". Flintoff is not the only injury concern England have as they look to build on a 1-0 lead in the four Test series against India. Derbyshire all-rounder Dominic Cork's participation remains uncertain as England wait on the result of a scan on a knee injury sustained while fielding at Trent Bridge. But the third of England's seam-bowling all-rounders, Craig White, is definitely out of Thursday's Test on his home ground. The Yorkshireman, who made an unbeaten 94 in England's huge 617 at Nottingham, was revealed Tuesday to have an abdominal muscle tear. However, one positive piece of news for England is that middle-order batsman John Crawley has not torn his cartilage as was initially thought and should be fit to take his place at Headingley. England's selectors have been confronted with continual fitness problems this summer, fast bowlers Darren Gough, Andrew Caddick, Alex Tudor and Simon Jones all missing Tests because of injury. And adding to their difficulties has been the indefinite break from all cricket announced by senior middle-order batsman Graham Thorpe, after the first Test at Lord's, following difficulties associated with the break-up of his marriage.

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