Fletcher not hopeful of Jones return

Last updated at 09:19 30 August 2005

England coach Duncan Fletcher admits Simon Jones will struggle to be fit for the final Ashes Test against Australia at The Oval.

The Glamorgan paceman injured his right ankle during day three of the fourth Test at Trent Bridge which England won by three wickets to take a 2-1 lead in the series.

A scan at a Nottingham hospital revealed swelling of the soft tissue in the ankle joint and Fletcher is worried Jones will not recover in time for the Ashes finale. "I can't know at this stage whether he will be fit," Fletcher told BBC Radio 5 Live.

"But I'm not confident that he will play. He will be a big loss because he seems to have one over on their batsmen."

Jones' condition will be assessed before England's selectors name their squad for The Oval Test, which begins on September 8.

England and Wales Cricket Board medical officer Dr Peter Gregory said: "The treatment Simon receives this week will aim to reduce the inflammation in those soft tissues."

Jones, who took five for 44 in Australia's first innings at Trent Bridge, has claimed 18 wickets in the series at a cost of only 21 runs each and the Welshman's absence would be a major blow to England as they look to clinch the Ashes.

"It would be nice to go through the series with the same 11 players," said Fletcher.

"I'll be discussing the matter with the other selectors later and at this stage I'm not going to say what we'll do."

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