The Ashes: Stuart Broad backs James Anderson to return to full fitness

James Anderson
James Anderson

Stuart Broad believes it is important for England team-mate James Anderson to "have a bit of a break" from cricket and get himself 100 per cent fit.

Anderson has been ruled out of the rest of the Ashes with a niggling calf problem.

Broad admitted the Lancashire seamer was especially disappointed to miss out at his home ground of Old Trafford but knows rest is essential in his fitness fight.

Broad told a press conference: "He's obviously very disappointed, he's put his heart and soul into getting back to full fitness.

"It was early June when he hurt his calf originally. He got back fit for the first game and that didn't quite work out how he wanted.

"He's done everything he possibly could. I've seen him running, bowling...he bowled 20-odd overs in a day.

"He's frustrated, obviously, he's going to have a period of time of ifs and buts - 'What if I did this? Could I have done that?'.

"But also it's important for him to have a bit of a break now and look forward to future challenges.

"I had in my mind that it was almost written in the stars that he would come back and open the bowling at the James Anderson End and bowl us to victory.

"That's not going to happen, but he's obviously got a lot of cricket left in him and he has to get that calf right because it's a long-winded calf injury, two or three months worth of calf niggle that he will want to get rid of."

England's nemesis Steve Smith returns for Australia after taking a blow to the neck from a Jofra Archer bouncer during the second Test, causing concussion.

In three innings so far, the opener has scored 144, 142 and 92, with Broad getting him out at Edgbaston.

Broad is expecting another tough battle, and said: "We've not bowled at him since Lord's, he's had a period of time not batting in the middle, which is a bonus for us.

"Whenever a batsman seems in great rhythm, a period of time out of being in the middle could affect them. But he's a world-class batsman, he'll be very ready for the conditions he will face here at Old Trafford.

"I think there's been a little bit of to-and-fro between him and Jofra and Jofra will be excited to continue that battle.

"It's great to have him back, nobody wants to see anybody miss cricket through head injuries. He will be very hungry to come back into a crucial Test match."

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