James Anderson has been ruled out of the rest of the South Africa tour after sustaining a left-rib injury in the second Test.
In an official statement from the ECB, Anderson underwent an MRI scan in Cape Town on Wednesday. He is understood to stay away from cricket for six to eight weeks.
After removing nightwatchman Keshav Maharaj in the morning session of the final day, he couldn’t bowl in the second session. He came back to bowl a two-over spell in the final session but following his discomfort, he was removed from the attack.
“Anderson felt tightness and discomfort at the end of the morning session on day five and was only able to bowl eight overs during the day,” read an ECB statement.
Craig Overton, who was called up to the England squad as cover for the illness-struck camp before the start of the Test series, will stay in South Africa as a backup option.
Anderson’s injury problems started at the end of June last year after he reported tightness in his right calf which forced him to miss the action for a month.
He then took part in the Ashes in August, but bowled only four overs in the opening Test as calf injury forced him to miss the whole series. He continued his road to recovery and subsequently, missed England’s two-Test series in New Zealand.
In a bid to recover fully for the South Africa series, Anderson sought out the medical facilities of football club Manchester City, and trained at Etihad Stadium under best possible medical staff.
The positive for England is that Jofra Archer is likely get fit for the Port Elizabeth Test after scans on his elbow revealed a slight inflammation which won’t take too long to heal. Mark Wood’s fitness update is another positive news in the England camp as he was seen back to full tilt in the nets at Newlands. Chris Woakes is another option waiting in the pipeline.
The third Test starts at Port Elizabeth on January 16, with the four-Test series squared at 1-1.