James Anderson, England’s all-time leading wicket-taker, is out of the fourth Test against Australia and possibly the rest of the Ashes series after suffering a side injury at Edgbaston on day two.

Anderson left the field three balls into his ninth over on Friday morning in Australia’s second innings of the third Test with what appeared to be a side strain.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) subsequently released a statement via Twitter saying Anderson had a “tight side” and would be “assessed overnight”.

Anderson’s absence on Thursday did not harm England unduly, with recalled fast bowler Steven Finn taking 5 for 45 as Australia closed on 7 for 168 – a lead of just 23 runs with three days left in the match.

 

England are still in pole position to go 2-1 up in the five-match series, even if Anderson does not bowl again in this match. But the hosts would dearly love to have him fit in time for next week’s fourth Test at Trent Bridge. However, England great Ian Botham said he feared Anderson would be ruled out of the series.

“If it’s an intercostal, we won’t see him again in this series,” the former pace bowling all-rounder said on Sky Sports. “You can’t sneeze, can’t cough, can’t laugh. You have to let it heal.” Anderson, who celebrated his 33rd birthday on Thursday, has a brilliant record at Trent Bridge. AFP

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