James Anderson has been ruled out of the remainder of England’s tour of South Africa with a rib injury sustained during the final day of the second Test at Newlands.
Although England were hopeful that the injury was minor, Anderson underwent an MRI scan in Cape Town on Wednesday (January 8) which revealed it was significant enough to rule him out of the two remaining Tests. He will return home to the UK in the next few days.
The 37-year-old had only just returned to the side after four months in the sidelines with a calf injury, sustained during the first Ashes Test at Edgbaston in August. He returned to action in the Boxing Day game at Centurion and, although he was rusty there, it took him little time to get back into the swing of things with 5-40 in South Africa’s first innings at Newlands.
However, the jubilation was short-lived. According to an ECB statement, Anderson felt “tightness and discomfort” on the fifth morning as England pressed for a victory that would ultimately embrace them. He took the new ball just before lunch but was not seen again until the post-tea session. He bowled just two overs, whilst in obvious pain, before he was withdrawn from the attack once again.
Somerset’s Craig Overton, who was called up as cover amidst the epidemic, will remain with the squad. Jofra Archer and Mark Wood, both of whom were unavailable for the second Test, should also be available for the next game in Port Elizabeth, beginning on January 16.