Liam Plunkett plans on hold after England paceman suffers thigh blow

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Football News

Liam Plunkett has suffered a thigh injury which has cast doubt on his plans to travel to South Africa for England's limited-overs matches.

Plunkett, named only two days ago as replacement for the injured Steven Finn in South Africa, was himself ruled out of the England Lions' first one-day international against Pakistan A in Dubai on Wednesday.

The 30-year-old Yorkshire seamer must therefore come through fitness tests to assess whether he can take part in Friday's second ODI, with the England and Wales Cricket Board reporting on its website that his plans to fly to South Africa at the weekend have already been "revised".

The Lions suffered two injury blows before the first of their five scheduled ODIs in the United Arab Emirates, with Plunkett's fellow seamer Jamie Overton ruled out of the series because of soft tissue damage in his foot.

It is Plunkett's problem, though, which may have a direct impact on England's hopes of adding limited-overs success to their Test series victory in South Africa.

He has a strained muscle in his left thigh, and an ECB report added: "England have therefore revised their plans for Plunkett to fly to South Africa at the weekend, after playing two matches for the Lions, to join their preparations for the one-day and T20 series against the Proteas.

"Plunkett will have a further test tomorrow to check on his fitness for the second match of the Lions series on Friday."

Overton, meanwhile, is to return home to Somerset after hurting himself in the Lions' second warm-up match on Saturday.

Lions coach Andy Flower said: "It is a real shame that Jamie will not take part in this series.

"He was one of the better performers in our T20 series win pre-Christmas, and he was starting to really hit his straps on this section of the tour.

"He was going to be a big part of our bowling attack, but he's got some great work done through the winter.

"He can get back to his rehab and pre-season work with Somerset, and they can look forward to a really potent and genuinely fast bowler working with them this summer."

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