Vaughan ices his knee to reignite injury concerns

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The Independent Online

Yorkshire had to swallow defeat while at the same time trying to allay fears over the fitness of England captain Michael Vaughan after Durham had completed a comfortable victory here with more than a day to spare.

Vaughan failed to appear after tea yesterday, missing the denouement of Durham's third win of the Championship season - their second against Yorkshire - and it was confirmed afterwards he had been receiving ice pack treatment for soreness in his right knee.

This is the same knee that has been subjected to four operations and has threatened more than once to end the 33-year-old batsman's career. Martyn Moxon, Yorkshire's director of cricket, insisted that Vaughan would be fit to face South Africa in the opening Test at Lord's a week tomorrow, although he left some questions unanswered by suggesting that the player had "a few body issues" which he would explain at a pre-series England press conference planned for this Friday.

It had already been decided that Vaughan will not play for Yorkshire in Saturday's Friends Provident Trophy semi-final against Essex, in which England teammates Alastair Cook and Ravi Bopara will line up for the home side.

"There is no danger of him missing the Test match but he has a few niggles," Moxon said. "His knee is a little bit sore and I'm sure he will explain that further. He is missing the Essex game to give his body time to recover.

"He did not field after tea so that he could get some ice on it and make sure no further damage was done."

Second in the Championship last season, Durham gave notice here that they will again be contenders for the title. Although they had the best of a wicket that offered help to the bowlers when the ball was new, they generally outplayed Yorkshire, who always faced a struggle after being bowled out for 184 on the opening day.

Yesterday morning, two down but within sight of chalking off Durham's 163-run first innings lead, their prospects of taking the match into a fourth day effectively disappeared when Steve Harmison, who had bowled aggressively if expensively, ended an excellent career-best 80 from 20-year-old Adam Lyth and then knocked back Vaughan's off stump as the England captain, clearly not particularly inconvenienced by any pain he was suffering, looked set for a century.

Those wickets sparked a collapse from 151-2 to 273 all out, Australian-born seamer Callum Thorp finishing with 5-71, leaving Durham to score 111 to win, a target to which they were guided by Michael di Venuto (65) and Paul Collingwood (44) in an unbroken stand of 105.

Vaughan: 'Body issues'