England bowler James "Jimmy" Anderson has emerged as a serious fitness doubt for the upcoming home series against Pakistan. The Lancashire paceman, who last year eclipsed Ian Botham as his country's all-time leading Test wicket-taker, is dealing with a stress fracture of the right shoulder blade suffered during the rain-affected draw against Sri Lanka at Lord's earlier in June.
In an official statement to confirm the injury, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) said: "Due to the nature on the injury, Jimmy's availability for the Pakistan Test series will be determined following ongoing management and review by both the ECB and Lancashire's medical teams.
"He will miss Lancashire's Specsavers County Championship matches against Middlesex commencing on Sunday at Lord's and against Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge starting on July 3."
Anderson produced a superb 10-wicket haul against the touring Sri Lankans during a comprehensive three-day thrashing in Leeds last month and took eight more in the subsequent nine-wicket win at Chester-le-Street headlined by captain Alastair Cook becoming the youngest batsman in history to score 10,000 Test runs.
He also accounted for the dismissals of Kusal Perera, Suranga Lakmal and Kaushal Silva during that aforementioned draw.
England return to Lord's on Thursday 14 July to open their four-Test series against Pakistan before moving on to Old Trafford, Edgbaston and the Oval. The two teams will also meet in five one-day internationals and a solitary 20-over match in August and September.
Before that, however, Trevor Bayliss' side still have to negotiate three more ODIs and a T20 clash against Sri Lanka. Liam Plunkett struck a six with the final ball to secure an eventful last-gasp tie in the first of those 50-over games and yesterday (24 June) a record-breaking stand from opening duo Alex Hales and Jason Roy produced a stunning 10-wicket victory in Birmingham.