Flintoff boost for England

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The Independent Online

England received positive news on the fitness of key all-rounder Andrew Flintoff this morning after an MRI scan revealed no major damage in his left side.

Flintoff, 31, made a round trip to Jamaica yesterday, accompanied by team doctor Mike Stone, after complaining of a side strain.

The scan results, assessed back in the UK by the England and Wales Cricket Board's chief medical officer Nick Peirce, proved encouraging at the start of England's four-Test series.

Flintoff, whose international comeback last summer was delayed by a similar injury, will now be monitored ahead of Thursday's first-class fixture against West Indies A at Warner Park.

"The scan showed no major damage and we will continue to assess Andrew on a daily basis," said an England team spokesman.

"We haven't made a decision yet as to whether he is available for the next three-day game."

Flintoff arrived with his colleagues at the ground this morning for the final day of the contest with a St Kitts & Nevis XI - but did not take part in the warm-ups.

Another of the tourists' walking wounded, Owais Shah, was undergoing further medical checks this morning on a scratched cornea.

Shah, who hit an unbeaten 125 on the opening day of the tour, sported an eye-patch yesterday after initial examination.

The first Test begins at Sabina Park, Jamaica, a week tomorrow.