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England pace bowler James Anderson is aiming to be fully fit before the fifth and final Ashes Test at The Oval gets underway on August 20.
Anderson has already been ruled out of the fourth Ashes Test in Nottingham after he suffered a side strain on the second day of the third Test at Edgbaston.
Anderson was initially thought to have suffered an intercostal muscle strain, which would have ruled him out for six weeks and the rest of the Ashes. However, his scans have shown a less serious injury, meaning that the 33-year-old could return in time for the fifth Test.
“I’m not going to play in the next game unfortunately but I’m hoping that I’m going to get myself fit for the Oval. That’s the aim,” he told Sky Sports. “It’s not an intercostal – it’s a bit sore. I felt something when I bowled a ball yesterday. Stuart Broad, who has had a bit of experience of those sorts of injuries, said to me ‘don’t bowl another ball and risk it.’
“I set off for another one and I thought, ‘yeah, he’s right, I’m not going to risk it.’ I’ve never had that sort of injury before. I felt a bit stiff, but then I did feel something. And I came off.
“The last 24 hours I’ve been talking to the medical team. They are happy with me this morning. They checked me over, looked at my movement. They were happy it didn’t look too serious.”
Anderson played an instrumental role in guiding England to an eight-wicket win in the third Test as he claimed six wickets in the first innings to help skittle Australia out for 136.
England lead the five-match series 2-1 and will be looking to capture the Ashes during the fourth Test, which begins on August 6.