Image courtesy of: Zimbio
After taking the wicket that led England to Ashes glory during the fourth Test in Nottingham, pace bowler Mark Wood’s fairytale has come to an end as must now face up to the dark reality of undergoing surgery to repair his chronic ankle problem.
Wood admits that surgery would probably be the best option for him as he is still in the infancy stage of his international career, but the 25-year-old has made it clear that he intends to mull over the best period to go under the knife.
“Long-term, I think the ankle problem that I’ve got may need some work doing to it, whether that’s some time off or maybe an operation,” he told Sky Sports. “It’s about fitting it in at the right time I guess. So far I’ve managed my ankle well this series and it’s been okay, but I everyone saw at Lord’s that I struggled a little bit so I may have to miss games or get the operation.
“Most important is this game this week which I hope to be a part of and then we have a heavy schedule after that.
“I don’t want to miss games for England but it might have to be done to make sure I can perform at my best, do myself justice and not let the team down.”
With the fifth and final Test set to begin on Thursday at The Oval, England are likely to give Wood a rest and get pace spearhead James Anderson back in the line-up if he has fully recovered from the side strain that forced him to miss the fourth Test.
“Jimmy’s got 400 Test wickets, he’s England’s lead bowler, so if he’s fit and ready to go – he had a bowl yesterday and he seemed fine – I’m going to prepare like I have for every other game, that’s then out of my hands with the management,” Wood said. “But Jimmy’s a fantastic bowler and I’m sure everyone would want him in the side so if he’s fit and ready to go then it looks like he would get the nod, but I’ll prepare like I have for every other game.”
Wood added that the Ashes would be made all the more special if England were able to defeat Australia and walk away with a 4-1 series win, something they have not been able to achieve since the 1932-33 Ashes series.
“We have to prepare like we have for every other game and make sure that when it comes to Thursday that we’re raring to go,” Wood said. “Trying to make it 4-1 as I think that would make it just that bit more sweet.
“If it was the other way around I’m sure that Australia wouldn’t give us an easy ride so of course the celebrations will be after the game.”