Jones hopes of international return shattered by fresh injury

England hopeful Simon Jones has been ruled out for the rest of the season with a knee injury. The Ashes-winning seamer has been in good form for Worcestershire this summer after recovering from a series of long-term knee injuries.

Jones has taken 42 first-class wickets at an average of 18.02, but he will play no further part for the Pears over the remainder of the season after a scan showed cartilage damage that will keep him out for up to a month.

The Welshman's injury will require knee arthroscopy surgery to clean up his joint. Worcestershire director of cricket, Steve Rhodes, said: "Simon has had a wonderful year with a strike rate of a wicket every 30 deliveries.

"The plan was to have Simon still playing in September. Whilst this has not quite been achieved I am delighted with his contribution and the plan will be to rehab Simon in a way to get him back fitter and stronger for the cricket that lies ahead of him."

Jones has not played for England since the 2005 series against Australia when his fast swing was one of the decisive factors in a thrilling victory.

He appeared to be forcing his way back into the England fold after a blistering summer, and was called up to the Lions squad for the recent one-day clashes with South Africa.

But he was forced to pull out with what at the time was called a slight calf strain, therefore missing what was thought to be his last chance to win a place in the squad for the Champions Trophy and tour of India later this year.

* Mohammad Asif's lawyer has hinted at a possible appeal against a positive doping test as the Pakistan fast bowler bids to avoid a likely two-year ban from cricket. Asif's 'B' sample returned a positive result yesterday, confirming the result of a sample taken from the 25-year-old following the Delhi Daredevils' Indian Premier League semi-final defeat to Rajasthan Royals in May.

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