Broad turns to featherbed solution

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Graeme Swann & Stuart Broad

From despair to where? Matt Prior may have found a solution to the back injury troubling Stuart Broad in Bangladesh

Stuart Broad may have Matt Prior, a roll of foam and a hotel maintenance man to thank if he is declared fit for the first Test against Bangladesh on Friday.

The England seamer has been struggling with spasms after hurting his back in the one-day series and was ruled out of the ongoing pre-Test warm-up against Bangladesh A.

A cramped flight from Dhaka to Chittagong and an uncomfortable bed did not help Broad's rehabilitation, but thanks to a brainstorm from wicketkeeper Prior he is on the mend.

"The beds in our hotel are incredibly hard - like someone has laid down a boundary board - and that hasn't exactly been the most enjoyable experience with my back until we got some foam put down," he said.

"The foam in the bed idea was actually Matt's. I'm in the connecting room and all I can hear was him moaning about the bed and it creaking with each turn.

"The next day some maintenance guy from the hotel walked in with a massive bit of foam and we cut it up so that we each had enough for our beds. Now a few of the other lads have followed suit.

"The problem was the spasm and now that has gone, so there is only a little bit of soreness left in the back. It has loosened up a fair bit now."

Despite resuming running and light bowling, Broad has vowed not to jeopardise the team's prospects if he is not fully fit in time for the series opener.

"I've bowled a bit earlier than first hoped," he said. "That gives us time to get a proper gauge on how it is because I certainly won't declare myself fit for a Test match if I'm not 100% sure I can bowl for five days.

"That would be unfair on the team, so I will only be up for selection if we know I'm fully fit.

"The key for me is to be able to bowl as hard as I can on Thursday, but if I can't then I won't be able to honestly say that I'll be fit for a Test match."

Graham Onions has also started training again having experienced a back complaint of his own.

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