England suffer another huge injury scare


Some of England's worst fears have been alleviated with wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow escaping largely unscathed from a finger injury just a week out from the first Ashes Test.

Bairstow took a delivery on the bounce from paceman Chris Woakes in their tour match against a Cricket Australia XI in Townsville, and immediately showed signs of pain.

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After kicking at the ground and wringing his left hand in pain, he was attended to by English medical staff after the next ball for a lengthy period and taken from the field.

Joe Root checks out the damage. Image: Getty

However, he returned about an hour later with strapping on his middle finger, adding to bandaging already on the little finger.

England officials insisted the problem was only a bruise and the 28-year-old had not suffered a dislocation, while teammates downplayed the situation at stumps.

"I don't think we were ever too worried," Woakes said.

Bairstow trudges off. Image: Getty

"The guys didn't seem overly worried about (it) which was good. The fact he came back out at the end of the day means that, fingers crossed, he's okay."

England have a back-up wicketkeeping option in Ben Foakes on the tour, however the 24-year-old is yet to play international cricket.

He took the gloves after the injury, until Bairstow was able to return to the field after lunch.

The scare added to a horror opening fortnight for England, who have already lost paceman Steve Finn for the tour due to a knee injury, while fellow quick Jake Ball is racing the clock to be fit for the Gabba Test.

It's also unclear whether Ben Stokes will join the group amid the ongoing the investigation into an alleged brawl in September in a Bristol street.