Hoggard out as Ashes precaution

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The Independent Online

Matthew Hoggard will miss the rest of the season as a precautionary measure ahead of this winter's Ashes.

The England fast bowler, 29, sustained a minor abdominal strain and will be rested from Yorkshire's remaining county fixtures to allow the injury to heal.

Having injured himself in the warm-up to the Championship game against Nottinghamshire on Wednesday morning, he underwent an MRI scan on Thursday which revealed no significant damage.

Neither the Yorkshire physio Scott McAllister nor the England medical staff are treating the problem as a serious concern ahead of the November departure for Australia. Hoggard will now rest for a few days and the ECB will re-assess his condition at the beginning of next week.

Hoggard, meanwhile, will be looking to play his 37th consecutive Test when the Ashes begin in Brisbane on 23 November.

England are blighted by injuries to their fast-bowling stocks at present with captain Andrew Flintoff and his Lancashire colleague James Anderson sidelined.

Durham's Steve Harmison and Liam Plunkett are also out at the moment with the former advised to delay returning and rest a recurring back niggle and the latter resuming light training after a side strain.