James Anderson is to have a six-week break from cricket in a bid to ensure England's all-time leading Test wicket-taker is fully fit for an upcoming series with India, it was announced Sunday.
The 35-year-old Lancashire swing bowler will use his time away from the game for what the England and Wales Cricket Board said was "rehabilitation" on a longstanding right-shoulder injury.
Anderson, who has taken 540 wickets in 138 Tests, will now miss Lancashire's next two County Championship matches against Worcestershire and Hampshire later this month.
The five home Tests against India are crammed into a six-week period from August 1 and England coach Trevor Bayliss said it was "vital" that Anderson, who no longer plays international white-ball cricket, was as fit as possible.
"We have five Tests against India in a six-week period from August 1, which will be an intense and challenging period for all our bowlers, and therefore it’s vital that we ensure Jimmy goes into that series in the best possible condition," said Bayliss in an ECB statement issued Sunday.
"Jimmy has to manage the issue with his right shoulder, and we’ve been advised that the best way for him to prepare for the India series is to take a six-week break from cricket now, initially to rest it and then to work slowly back to cricket," the Australian added.
"That six-week period covers Lancashire's two Championship matches over the next three weeks. We will then monitor to see where Jimmy is at and ensuring he is ready for the India series."
Despite an injury to his bowling arm, Anderson played in both Tests of England's recent 1-1 drawn series at home to Pakistan, taking nine wickets in total at an average of 19.11.