England has been dealt a massive injury setback on day one of the Headingley Test after bowler Ollie Robinson left the field with a back spasm on Thursday afternoon.
Two deliveries into his 12th over of the day, Robinson pulled up sore before retrieving his cap from the umpire and walking towards the sheds — Stuart Broad completed the 43rd over with a substitute fielder jogging onto the field.
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The England medical team assessed Robinson during the tea break, later confirming the 29-year-old had sustained a back spasm and would remain off the field for the rest of the day.
Robinson, who played both of the previous Tests at Edgbaston and Lord’s, is currently England’s second leading wicket-taker of the series with ten scalps at 28.00. He missed last month’s Test against Ireland after sustaining a left ankle injury in the County Championship.
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England made three changes to its starting XI ahead of the Headingley Test, bringing in an extra bowler and shifting Harry Brook up to No. 3. Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes and Mark Wood were recalled for the third Ashes Test, joining Robinson and Broad in a stacked bowling line-up.
England captain Ben Stokes, who has been nursing a long-term knee injury, suggested he wouldn’t bowl in Leeds unless necessary.
“I’m not gonna lie that last week, sort of took it out of me a little bit,” Stokes told reporters on Wednesday.
“So a big part of something that I had to think of as what would be the best team if I wasn’t to bowl a ball this game, in the worst case scenario. Doesn’t mean I’m not going to bowl but that was a huge part of the thinking about the team that we picked.
“We were very sort of open and honest and clear with each other before the series started that it’s going to be a very tough, for us fast bowlers to play every game this summer.”