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Hoggard injury blow

Matthew Hoggard looks to have lost his battle to prove his fitness for next week's third Test at Old Trafford after failing to recover from a thigh problem.

The 30-year-old Yorkshire seamer sat out the emphatic second Test victory over West Indies at Headingley last week after being restricted to just 10.3 overs in the drawn opener at Lord's because of the ailment.

He had hoped to make his return for next week's encounter in Manchester and was pencilled in to play club cricket for Baildon on Saturday followed by an appearance for Yorkshire in Sunday's Friends Provident match against Durham.

But as the selectors assemble to consider their options for next week, Hoggard has suffered a setback in his recovery and is unlikely to play any cricket before the squad is announced on Sunday morning.

Hoggard felt some discomfort in his thigh during a net session on Wednesday with Yorkshire and coach Martyn Moxon has now effectively ruled Hoggard out of contention at the weekend.

It leaves Hoggard facing a race against time to be fit and feature in Yorkshire's two matches over the next 10 days and prove his fitness for England's final Test against West Indies at Chester-le-Street starting on June 15.

Yorkshire face Kent in a championship match next Wednesday and their only other fixture is a Friends Provident Trophy match against Northamptonshire at Headingley - just two days before the start of the final Test.

In Hoggard's absence, England has found an able deputy in Nottinghamshire's Ryan Sidebottom, who claimed nine wickets at Headingley in his first Test appearance in six years.

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