James Anderson a fitness doubt for third Test against South Africa

England was hoping for good news on the fitness of James Anderson on Wednesday as the bowler headed for a scan on his side.

England bowler James Anderson   -  Getty Images

James Anderson was heading for a scan amid a fresh fitness worry on Wednesday, with England team director Ashley Giles saying it "would be desperate" for the veteran to face a new lay-off.

England's record wicket-taker in Test cricket was barely involved with the ball after lunch on day five of the second Test against South Africa in Cape Town. The tourist won by 189 runs, with Ben Stokes stepping up to take the last three wickets in dramatic fashion.

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Concern over an apparent side strain for 37-year-old Anderson was expressed once the match was over, and Giles said on Wednesday morning: "Jimmy will have to have a scan today which we've got all fingers crossed for.

"It would be desperate if Jim is injured again. He's worked so hard to get back in the team."

Anderson has reclaimed his place in the England side following a calf injury, which forced him to miss all but the opening morning of the Ashes Tests against Australia last year.

 

He took five South African wickets in the first innings at Newlands, and removed two batsmen second time around before being forced out of the attack.

It remains to be seen whether he will be fit for the third Test, which starts in Port Elizabeth on January 16. "We certainly don't think it's a recurrence of his previous injury," Giles said on BBC Radio 5 Live.

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"He bowled like a demon in that first innings. That mix of youth and experience we have in the team is just so valuable and he's been such a great servant. We're holding our breath and fingers crossed for him."

Anderson at least appeared to be in good spirits on Wednesday, as he wrote on Twitter: "What a start to 2020! Every man played their part in a fantastic win. Victory always tastes sweeter when you have to graft into the last hour on day 5!"

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