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Cook back in business

England Lions

Alastair Cook

Alastair Cook has admitted he may need surgery on his back at some point in the future but is hopeful of being fit to play Pakistan

Alastair Cook is optimistic he will be fit for England’s npower Test series against Pakistan after making his return from a back injury for the Lions today.

But the opening batsman admits surgery is a “possibility” in the future if there is a deterioration of his current condition.

Cook had missed the three previous games of the Lions' triangular tournament with West Indies A and India A.

He returned as skipper for the final against India but made only four in his side’s five-wicket win with eight balls to spare at New Road.

Cook will now play Friends Provident t20 and LV= County Championship cricket for Essex before the first Test against Pakistan at Trent Bridge starting on July 29.

He said: “My back is obviously a little bit frustrating. Hopefully I’ve just turned the corner on that.

“It is frustrating and, hopefully with the treatment I’ve just had, it works.

“It is something I’m having to manage at the moment. I don’t think it will be ongoing forever.

“I just think we’ve got a problem with my back and, whilst we know what it is, we are just trying to sort it out and try and make sure I can carry on playing as well.”

When asked if he would be fit for the Pakistan series, Cook said: “Definitely. I hope so, unless something drastic happens.

“There is a possibility of (surgery) but it’s not high at the moment and I was fully fit to play today.

“If it stays like this, I’ll be fully fit and I won’t need surgery in the future.”

Cook was full of praise for the Lions, who chased down a target of 279 with Lancashire spinner Steven Parry picking up three wickets and Yorkshire captain Andrew Gale hitting 90.

“It was nice to win," Cook added. "They got 20 too many on that wicket if we are being harsh on ourselves.

“They got off to a good start at the top of the order but we dragged it back really well and our run-chase was never really in doubt.”

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