Hoggard has scans to examine side strain

Matthew Hoggard suffered an injury scare and was withdrawn from Yorkshire's County Championship match against Nottinghamshire yesterday morning.

Both the England fast bowler and the former England batsman Anthony McGrath sustained what were thought only to be minor injuries ahead of the First Division match. Hoggard was believed to have suffered a slight side strain while bowling in the warm-up, and McGrath took a blow on the shin when he collided with another player.

The Yorkshire physiotherapist Scott McAllister revealed that the 29-year-old Hoggard had been taken to hospital for a precautionary scan. "We want to be absolutely sure that the injury is not too serious," McAllister said.

McAllister confirmed later that Hoggard had undergone a scan which had shown encouraging results. "This shows there is no muscular tear but Matthew will have an MRI scan tomorrow at 1pm to see if he has a small abdominal strain on his right side," he said. "We did not play Matthew today because we did not want to go a bowler down and the decision was made for him to have a scan because there was a slight doubt about his fitness."

McGrath also had a scan which showed no break on his shin and he could be fit for Yorkshire's final Championship match of the season, against Durham at Headingley next week.

The injury comes a day after Hoggard was named in the Ashes squad to take on Australia in the winter. The selectors have come in for criticism from the media for selecting six players who are currently being treated for injuries.

Hoggard has become an important member of the England attack in recent seasons with his ability to swing the new ball. On the last Australia tour in 2002-03 he played in three of the five Tests, returning for the final match to take 4 for 92 and 1 for 35 as England won by 255 runs in Sydney.

Kevin Pietersen, meanwhile, insisted that England would arrive in Australia "keyed in" for the Ashes despite concerns over collective fitness. Hoggard apart, Andrew Flintoff, Steve Harmison and James Anderson hope to return from injuries at the ICC Champions Trophy next month.

"Our boys will be keyed in," Pietersen said. "We have got 16 players who have been selected for this trip and they are the best 16 players available to us. It's a case of going out there to do the best we can to make sure that little urn is firmly glued in place at Lord's."

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