Cricket
George Dobell in Adelaide 9d

Another injury scare for England as Ball sprains ankle

The Ashes 2017-18, ENG tour of AUS and NZ 2017-18, Cricket

England's Ashes plans have been hit by another setback after Jake Ball was forced off the pitch at the Adelaide Oval on Thursday through injury.

Ball, who had emerged as a likely member of England's side for the first Test, was midway through his fourth over against the Cricket Australia XI when his right ankle buckled in his delivery stride and he fell to the floor.

He was able to walk off the pitch unaided but an England spokesman later announced that Ball would take no further part in the second day's play. His sprained ankle will be monitored over the next few hours before any decision is made about further treatment or the length of his lay-off.

The setback comes even before Steven Finn has arrived home. Finn, who in turn was a substitute on the tour for Ben Stokes, suffered a knee injury during training in Perth and was sent home on Wednesday having failed to show any signs of recovery. His replacement, Tom Curran, is due to join up with the rest of the squad in Adelaide on Friday.

With Moeen Ali also sidelined through a side injury - he returned to the nets as a batsman on Wednesday - and yet to bowl on the tour, it left Paul Collingwood - England's 41-year-old fielding coach - dressed in whites and prepared to come on as a substitute fielder as required.

It all means that time - and options - are running out for England as they prepare for the first Test which begins in Brisbane on November 23.

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