Flower's injury woes fade away

Andover Advertiser: Graeme Swann took five wickets as England beat Essex Graeme Swann took five wickets as England beat Essex

England emerged from the anxieties of Chelmsford with a morale-boosting victory and, most importantly, a full complement of players fit for Ashes selection.

Coach Andy Flower, who revealed Stuart Broad has had a cortisone injection in the sore right shoulder which ruled him out of the 228-run win over Essex, could afford sighs of relief and a little satisfaction on Wednesday night.

It was not always so here over the past four days, notably on the second when England's medics feared lynchpin spinner Graeme Swann might have suffered a serious injury when he was hit on his bowling arm while batting against Tymal Mills.

Instead, Swann went on to demonstrate his wellbeing by taking five for 68 - back-up seamer Graham Onions joining in with four for 43 - as Essex collapsed in their second innings, losing five wickets for 11 runs at one point.

Flower is confident both Broad and Swann will be ready for next week's first Test at Trent Bridge - but did admit there had been significant concern for a time over the off-spinner.

Swann carried on batting, making 94 in an eighth-wicket stand with centurion Tim Bresnan in the first innings, but was then taken to hospital for x-rays which eventually eased the worries when they revealed no fracture.

"There were great concerns about him," said Flower. "We thought he might have cracked his ulna. Luckily it wasn't the case, but it was badly swollen - not only when he was batting but afterwards."

Swann recovered sufficiently to bowl the next day and then again, for longer and with more rewards, when Essex's second-innings chase of a notional 415 faltered to 186 all out. "It was important for him to get those overs done," added Flower. "It was nice to see him bowl with that sort of quality."

Swann himself confirmed post-match that he was in good health. "The arm's great," he told Sky Sports. "Obviously I was a bit worried at first when I got hit - I'm not used to getting smashed by rockets."

The outlook is good too for Broad, according to Flower. "He should be okay," he said. "He had a cortisone injection in his shoulder and reacted pretty well."

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