New injury fear casts Test doubt over Flintoff

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With the first Test against Zimbabwe just 10 days away, England were given some worrying news yesterday. The Lancashire all-rounder Andrew Flintoff complained of a strange sensation in his right arm and hand during the Championship match against Middlesex.

With the first Test against Zimbabwe just 10 days away, England were given some worrying news yesterday. The Lancashire all-rounder Andrew Flintoff complained of a strange sensation in his right arm and hand during the Championship match against Middlesex.

Flintoff had been troubled by a stomach upset since Saturday, but after that cleared up he became aware of more sinister symptoms, which he thought were to do with his bout of illness.

"At first he thought it was some sort of fluey thing, but when his stomach problem cleared up he still had this aching feeling in his arm," said the Lancashire manager, Mike Watkinson. "And he was getting a surging sensation in his right hand. It was quite painful. And he was a bit bothered about it, so we had him checked out.

"He saw a specialist this morning and had a scan and returned to the specialist again this afternoon. The scan suggests that he has had a bang at some stage and it has caused a little bit of bleeding around the nerves in his arm. It is around his armpit. All the indications are that it is not serious and although we are not going to consider him for the match against Essex on Wednesday we hope he will be fit for the National League match against Scotland on Sunday."

It has not been a happy few months for Flintoff, who had an operation for a double hernia at the end of last season, flew out to join up with the England squad for the Ashes series, only to be sent home again without playing in a single Test. But he did get back in time to play in the second one day final against the Australians, before going on to play in the World Cup.

Watkinson added: "He has been on top of his game with the bat and has been bowling with a lot of pace for us... but we hope it is just a short-term thing."

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