Harmison suffers injury scare

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The Independent Online

Stephen Harmison has suffered an injury scare within hours of arriving in New Zealand. Harmison complained of stiffness in his lower back following a training session this morning and is already in a race against time to prove his fitness for the first Test in Hamilton on 5 March.

Harmison suffered from a similar problem during a warm-up match in Colombo, Sri Lanka before Christmas. It was an injury that caused the fast bowler to miss the first Test.

Harmison has more time to recover and prove his fitness in New Zealand but the selectors would want to see him play in at least one of England's two warm-up matches in Dunedin, the first of which begins on Monday, before they consider him for Test selection..

As cover for Harmison, and after watching James Anderson bowl poorly during England's one-day series, the selectors have decided to keep Chris Tremlett in New Zealand. Tremlett is not without concerns himself having had a scan on a sore side on Saturday. The scan was clear and he will initially stay with the Test squad until the first Test in Hamilton has started.