‘Nothing to worry about’: Stokes plays down injury concerns ahead of Ashes
The star all-rounder did not bowl in the match but sent down some deliveries in the warm-up before day three's play in a potential boost for England
LORD'S: England Test captain Ben Stokes played down concerns over his injury ahead of The Ashes against Australia, saying his long standing knee injury was "nothing to worry about".
The 31-year-old on Saturday hobbled after taking the catch of Curtis Campher at short fine leg but he continued to be on the field on day three of off-one Test against Ireland, a game England won by 10 wickets with over a day to spare. He later revealed that there was nothing to worry about his injury.
The star all-rounder did not bowl in the match but sent down some deliveries in the warm-up before day three's play in a potential boost for England less than two weeks out from the first Test against Australia.
"Actually I didn't pick it [the ball] up and I landed quite awkwardly on it [the left knee]. My weight went on the inside of the knee like I hyper-extended but I bowled this morning, the first time I have bowled since being back from India (from IPL) so it's been about four weeks actually and I got through that and I was really happy with where I was, so nothing to worry about," Stokes said at the post-match presentation.
"I was really happy with how I bowled [before the start of day]. I bowled for about 20 minutes and I got through that really well. Obviously I have got time to build up before I push back into flat out, but I just landed quite awkwardly when I took that catch. I didn't quite see it so had to adjust myself and landed on my left leg and it twisted in a really strange way. It was fine, I just don't know what really happened. It was one of those things -- but I am 32 tomorrow so that probably explains it," he added.
Notably, Stokes' knee injury limited his impact with the ball during the drawn Test series in New Zealand in February, with the skipper bowling just nine overs in two games.
He has only delivered one over since -- in the IPL for Chennai Super Kings in early April -- but said before the Ireland Test that hard work on his fitness out in India had given him "the best opportunity" to play a full part with the ball in the Ashes.
England less than two weeks before the first Ashes Test of the next ICC World Test Championship cycle in Birmingham. They have named a strong 16-member squad for the first two Tests of the series.