Ollie Robinson hands England an Ashes boost but is likely to miss Ireland Test
England can breathe a sigh of relief after Ollie Robinson’s scan on his left ankle showed no damage but he is unlikely to be risked in next week’s one-off Test against Ireland at Lord’s.
Robinson was withdrawn from Sussex’s bowling attack before lunch on day three of their LV= Insurance County Championship draw against Glamorgan after suffering from soreness at the base of his leg.
He was seen on Sunday on crutches and wearing a protective boot, heightening fears he would become the latest fast bowling injury concern with less than four weeks to go until the start of the Ashes.
While no obvious injury has been detected – meaning he can link up with the Test squad this weekend – Robinson will continue to be monitored and seems set to sit out the four-day match against Ireland, starting on June 1.
Robinson, who had a pain-killing injection in his back on the eve of the domestic season, will therefore be targeting the first Ashes Test, beginning on June 16 at Edgbaston, for a return to action.
The England and Wales Cricket Board said in a statement: “Sussex and England seamer Ollie Robinson had a scan on Monday to determine the extent of some discomfort in his left ankle after playing for Sussex in the LV= Insurance County Championship Division Two match against Glamorgan at Hove last week.
“Scan results have revealed no damage to the ankle and that Robinson will join up with the England Men’s Test squad this weekend ahead of the LV= Insurance Test match against Ireland starting on Thursday 1 June at Lord’s.”
Paul Farbrace, Sussex head coach and Robinson’s stepfather, attempted to downplay the seriousness of the injury on Saturday, adding the fast bowler was feeling more pain from walking rather than running.
It is understood the discomfort was due to tendon irritation and England intend to proceed with caution in a bid to avoid exacerbating the problem with Robinson, who has taken 66 wickets in just 16 Tests.
He has been in fine form for Sussex in recent weeks with 20 wickets in three matches and wrote on Instagram on Tuesday: “Good start to the season with Sussex, now onto the international summer.”
It remains to be seen whether England draft in another pace option to their 15-strong squad to face Ireland, with record wicket-taker James Anderson also a doubt because of a minor groin strain.
Stuart Broad, Matthew Potts, Chris Woakes and Mark Wood are all fit but Jofra Archer is already out for the summer because of a recurrence of a stress fracture in his right elbow.
Olly Stone is sidelined with a hamstring problem and looks set to miss at least the start of the Ashes series, while Jamie Overton is in the initial stages of his recovery from a stress fracture to the spine.
Concerns also persist over Ben Stokes’ ability to perform as an all-rounder because of a longstanding knee injury. He played just twice for Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League and will miss the play-offs after flying home at the weekend to be ready to face Ireland.
Fellow England seamer Broad was relieved by the news on Robinson.
“It’s good to hear. I had a few Whatsapps with him yesterday, and I think he was a bit worried about it to be honest,” said Broad.
“He said he couldn’t walk on it but he could run on it. I suppose that’s quite positive, if he couldn’t walk or run on it we’d be in a bit of trouble.
“A week’s rest and getting that right (is good), once it starts they come thick and fast. We don’t want to be going into that series with too many niggles, but there’s been a few going around”.