Ashes setback as England seamer Ball suffers ankle injury

All-rounder Chris Woakes did little to douse concerns over the fitness of Jake Ball after the seamer limped out of England’s warm-up clash against a Cricket Australia XI in Adelaide with a sprained ankle.

The 26-year-old’s right ankle appeared to buckle during the fourth over of the home side’s innings to compound England’s injury problems just two weeks before the first Ashes Test in Brisbane.

England last week lost Steven Finn to a series-ending knee injury, while off-spinning all-rounder Moeen Ali was forced to miss the day-night clash with the Cricket Australia XI due to a side strain.

“It’s unfortunate to see any of your fellow fast bowlers leave the park,” said Woakes. “We’re a close-knit unit and we try and look after each other.

“I had a really bad one [ankle sprain] five or six years ago, which kept me out for six weeks. Hopefully, he’s nowhere near as bad as that.

“We [the bowlers] now have to step up, individually you have to step up. I think we can all cause some problems out here with what we’ve got.”

Leg-spinner Mason Crane claimed 3-78, while seamer James Anderson and Woakes snared two wickets apiece, as Cricket Australia XI declared on 233-9. England reached 5-0 by the close in their second innings, a lead of 65 runs.

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