More injury heartache for Ashes hero Jones

Playing only his second LV County Championship in nearly three years, 2005 Ashes hero Simon Jones has suffered another injury setback.

Hampshire are confident Jones will be fully fit again by the end of the month but the 32-year-old former England paceman was only able to bowl nine deliveries in Durham’s second innings at The Rose Bowl.

He pulled up with a groin strain and left the field for the rest of the day. Jones’ injury leaves Hampshire’s seam bowling resources stretched ahead of their next match against Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge, starting on April 14.

Manager Giles White said: “Simon’s very disappointed but we’ll try to get him fit as soon as possible, I suspect he might be out a couple of weeks.

“We’ve been through it a bit with injuries but it’s not a major injury and life goes on. We’ll try to get him back as soon as possible.”

Hampshire captain Dominic Cork, meanwhile, suffered cramp in his groin soon afterwards. “Dominic probably didn’t warm up as well as he’d have liked to because he didn’t have the time after Simon went off,” added White.

“But we’re confident he’ll be okay to travel to Nottingham and we’re hopeful he’ll play a big part in that game.”

Hampshire have been encouraged by the progress of Kabir Ali, but he is still a few weeks away from match fitness after a year out following knee surgery. And David Balcombe (back), James Tomlinson (foot) and Dimi Mascarenhas (Achilles) are also unavailable seamers at present.

Chris Wood and David Griffiths are Hampshire’s only other fit frontline fast bowlers and at least one of them will be required at Trent Bridge this week.

Hampshire face the defending champions on the back of a draw against Durham, the 2008 and 2009 champions, following a determined effort with the bat on the final day.

After beginning it 87 for 0, still 402 away from a distant victory target, Hampshire closed on 350 for 5 thanks largely to Jimmy Adams’ 105.

Adams said: “There was a bit of pressure to get through the first hour but we knew it was a good wicket and we did a reasonable job. If we hadn’t lost two wickets just before tea we might even have fancied ourselves to have a go at winning it.”

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