Harmison: Wood ‘devastated’ after latest injury blow, major doubt for the rest of the tour
Former England quick Steve Harmison has cast doubt over Mark Wood’s possible participation in the rest of the ongoing West Indies-England series.
Wood left the field after bowling just five overs on the third day at Antigua after experiencing soreness around his elbow, the same area of the body that has plagued fellow England quick Jofra Archer in recent times.
In his absence, England toiled long and hard on day three as Nkrumah Bonner brought up his second Test century off 257 deliveries. In all, West Indies lost just five wickets over the day, scoring their runs at less than two per over.
Speaking on talkSport’s coverage of the Test, Harmison said that he’d spoken to Wood about the injury. Harmison said: “He’s devastated, all the more so because he’s gone so well for so long. He’s frustrated. He couldn’t straighten his elbow, there’s a bit of swelling. He [Wood] hopes to get in a spell or two in the second innings but I’d be very surprised if we see him in Barbados and Grenada … He’s hoping Grenada is not out of the question.”
A possible injury to Wood would be a major blow to an England side already short of their two greatest wicket-takers in James Anderson and Stuart Broad – through choice – and two of their fastest bowlers in Jofra Archer and Olly Stone through injury. Ollie Robinson – England’s leading wicket-taker in Test cricket in 2021 behind Anderson – also missed the first Test in Antigua through injury. Warwickshire’s uncapped Liam Norwell is reportedly among the reserves waiting on standby back at home.
Wood has become an increasingly important figure for England away from home in recent times. Since the start of 2019, Wood has taken 39 wickets at 23.28 outside of England. In the recently concluded Ashes series Down Under, Wood was England’s leading wicket-taker.
A statement from the ECB was more upbeat about Wood’s fitness. It stated: “He is continuing to receive treatment and will remain working with the medical team for the rest of the innings until he needs to bat. The plan is that he will work towards bowling in the West Indies second innings. There is no plan for a scan at this stage and no discussion around replacements.”