Encouraging signs for Harmison

A promising net session for Steve Harmison has left England optimistic about his fitness for the first Test.

He is not playing in the warm-up match against South Australia, he was withdrawn as a precautionary measure after a suffering pain in his side on the morning of the match. This pain is likely to be a recurrence of the injury that kept him out of the ODI series against Pakistan.

Today he has a fairly long workout in the nets, starting off slowly off a handful of paces before progressing to something close to full speed. England will still have to see how Harmison is tomorrow morning though, when he will be assessed by the team physio.

Andrew Flintoff was realistic about Harmison’s fitness: “Harmy’s bowled somewhere between 12 and 15 overs. He’s run in, he’s bowled and injuries for fast bowlers are part-and-parcel of the job, so we just have to see what happens tomorrow morning, how he pulls up. He’s a key player for England, has been for a numerous time now in the Test side. We still want Harmy fit, but we’ll know more in the morning.”

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