Injuries hamper Sidebottom

India England
Ryan Sidebottom

Ryan Sidebottom bowled in practice today but the first one-dayer could be too soon

Ryan Sidebottom looks set to lose his battle to be fit for the start of England's one-day series against India next week as he battles to recover from long-standing Achilles tendon problems.

The Nottinghamshire left-arm seamer has struggled with a variety of injuries over the last few months, but appeared to be winning his battle for fitness after being included in the squad for the Stanford Series and the tour to India.

But after missing the end of last summer with side injuries - including the end of the Test series and the entire one-day series against South Africa - Sidebottom suffered a recurrence of his Achilles trouble in the first over of his comeback against Middlesex in Antigua.

He has been battling to be fit ever since but despite making progress, he has been overlooked for England's opening warm-up match tomorrow against a Mumbai Cricket Association XII, a game in which both sides will field 12 players.

Sidebottom joins Alastair Cook and Tim Ambrose on the sidelines at the Brabourne Stadium tomorrow while England have opted to include Ravi Bopara ahead of Luke Wright, who featured in England's Stanford line-up.

"I bowled a little bit today and I've been working on a few technical things," said Sidebottom. "At the minute I feel really good but the medical staff don't want to risk me and suffer a setback which could knock me back a couple of weeks.

"I don't think I'll be available for a couple of matches and I could miss the first one-day international, but hopefully I'll be available for selection after that."

Ashwell Prince & Ryan Sidebottom

Sidebottom claimed 76 victims in 17 Tests since making his return to international cricket last year

After a stunning return to international cricket last year - he claimed a staggering 76 wickets in just 17 Tests before his injuries struck - Sidebottom has suddenly had to become used to watching from the sidelines.

In his absence, England won the final Test at the Brit Oval against South Africa and then humbled the highly-rated tourists 4-0 in the one-day series with Steve Harmison and Andrew Flintoff both making impressive returns to the side.

It leave Sidebottom with a fight on his hands to reclaim his place even when he regains his fitness with England starting their tour of India with a seven-match one-day series beginning in Rajkot next Friday.

"I've had a bad time with injuries, but there's nothing you can do about it, you've just got to get on with it," he stressed.

"I've been consistent and I've really enjoyed my time with England and I want to carry on playing international cricket. I'm part of the squad and I've got to fight for my place again.

"Steve and Fred have come back into the team and are both bowling well and I'm just happy to be part of this bowling unit and hopefully I can push for a place."

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