Steven Finn and Moeen Ali will both miss the first two tour matches of England’s Ashes campaign after scans on their respective knee and side injuries.
Both were already ruled out of the first fixture, a two-day match against a Western Australia XI in Perth which started earlier this morning.
Scans have indicated Finn’s injury is not as bad as was first feared.
Even so, his further involvement in the tour will depend on continued assessment of his injury “over the next seven days”, while the England and Wales Cricket Board is confident key all-rounder Moeen will be back in full training by the middle of this month.
A brief ECB statement explained the prognosis for both.
It read: “Finn will be monitored by the England medical department over the next seven days, and a further decision on his fitness will be made at that time.
“He sustained the injury during practice at Richardson Park, Perth, on Thursday November 2 and sat out training today at the WACA.
“(Moeen) has aggravated his left side.
“He will miss the first two tour matches against the WA XI at the WACA, Perth, and the four-day match against a CA XI at the Adelaide Oval commencing on Wednesday November 8.
“He is expected to return to full training by mid-November ahead of the tour match in Townsville, starting on Wednesday November 15.”
There’s been a lot of talk about last time round. We’re a completely different side, and so are they.England captain Joe Root
Moeen will therefore have just one match at the most to prepare for the first Test in Brisbane on November 23, and will miss England’s chance to acquaint themselves with day-night conditions in Adelaide – where they first face the Cricket Australia XI and then return at the start of next month to take on their hosts in Test conditions.
As they readied themselves without fast bowler Finn and Moeen for their opening fixture at the WACA, captain Joe Root returned fire on the pre-Ashes warning shots which Australia have started aiming in the tourists’ direction.
Root’s opposite number Steve Smith joined a home chorus over recent days on the prospect of reopening the scars England suffered in the 5-0 whitewash defeat on their last Ashes trip four years ago.
“There’s been a lot of talk about last time round,” he said. “We’re a completely different side, and so are they. Of course, they’ll try to bring up all sorts of stuff like that. But we’ve obviously played a lot of cricket since then and have played Australia as well - and that went quite well for us.”