The England Test team has suffered a big blow ahead of the three-Test series against New Zealand at home as their fast bowler Mark Wood will miss the upcoming World Test Championship fixture and may not feature at all for his national side this summer after revealing that his injury recovery is making “slow going”.
Wood was among several injured England seamers who were not considered for selection for the first Test against the Kane Williamson-led Black Caps, starting at Lord’s on June 2. But the bowler has now been ruled out for the entire series against the Kiwis, and possibly the series against South Africa.
Among the other bowlers not considered for the opening Test include Sam Curran, Chris Woakes, Ollie Robinson, Olly Stone, Saqib Mahmood and Matthew Fisher.
The 32-year-old Wood suffered an elbow injury during England’s 0-1 series loss against West Indies in March, and is currently undergoing rehabilitation after surgery. It was never expected that Wood’s recovery would be fast enough to bring him into contention to face the current World Test champions in the three-Test series in June. But the paceman may also be unavailable for the series against South Africa at the back-end of the English summer, with the bowler revealing that is the best-case scenario at present.
“I’m off half a run-up,” Wood was quoted as saying by ICC. “I’m hoping that I can get off my full run-up in the next couple of weeks and then hopefully play for Durham after that. But at the minute it’s a little bit slow going.
“Every time I bowl at the moment there’s still a bit of swelling. They’ve assured us that that’s normal, because I’ve had surgery five weeks ago, so it’s obviously still a little bit raw.
“If I can build up through one-day cricket first, that will make it easier for us to then come back in the Test matches later in the summer. But, from the roster of fast bowling, I think we’re all trying to get fit as quick as we can, but it’s slow going at the minute.”
England and Wood will still be hopeful that the quick will be fully fit in time for the ICC T20 World Cup in Australia later this year, but to face time on the sidelines is frustrating for a player who did a commendable job during the five Ashes Tests and the three Tests in the Caribbean.
“After probably two years of not many injuries at all, playing a lot of games felt pretty good. To now have a sustained period off is pretty frustrating, when I felt like I was coming up to the best part of playing for England, bowling consistently quick, and taking wickets. But if I do get back, I’ve got the confidence of that two years that I can fall back on.”
The uncapped Matthew Potts could be the beneficiary against New Zealand, with the Durham pacer one of four specialist quicks named in a 13-strong squad for the first Test at Lord’s, with James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Craig Overton also in the squad.