England paceman James Anderson has been ruled out of the remainder of the third Ashes Test against Australia at Edgbaston and next week's fourth Test at Trent Bridge, it was announced Friday.
Anderson, England's all-time leading Test wicket-taker, left the field three balls into his ninth over in Australia's second innings on the second day at Edgbaston on Thursday -- his 33rd birthday.
An England and Wales Cricket Board statement issued Friday confirmed that, following an overnight assessment, he had suffered a side strain.
"England bowler James Anderson has been ruled out of remainder of the current Investec Ashes Test with a side strain," the statement said.
"Anderson will be unavailable for the fourth Test beginning on Thursday 6 August at Trent Bridge and his availability for the final Test in the series (at The Oval on August 20) will be determined in due course."
Anderson, whose 413 Test wickets are an England record, took an Ashes-best six for 47 as Australia were skittled out for just 136 in the first innings at Edgbaston.
Recalled fast bowler Steven Finn then took five for 45 on Thursday as Australia slumped to 168 for seven in their second innings, a lead of just 23 runs with three wickets standing.
But Anderson's injury could hamper England's bid to go 2-1 up in the five-match Ashes series on Friday as bowling substitutes are not allowed under cricket's rules or Laws, although a replacement fielder is permitted.
When he saw Anderson struggle before going off the field after pulling out of his action on Thursday, England great Ian Botham said he feared the Lancastrian would miss the rest of the series.
"If it's an intercostal, we won't see him again in this series," former pace bowling all-rounder Botham said on Sky Sports.
"You can't sneeze, can't cough, can't laugh. You have to let it heal."
Anderson has an especially brilliant Test record at Trent Bridge, with 53 in eight matches at an average of 19.24.
Meanwhile six of his 18 returns of five wickets or more in Test innings have come at the Nottingham ground.
He also took 10 wickets across the match in the last Ashes Test at Trent Bridge, in 2013 -- one of two 10-wicket returns he has at Nottinghamshire's headquarters.
England could now recall Durham fast bowler Mark Wood, who took part in the first two Ashes Tests but was ruled out with ankle trouble and replaced by Finn at Edgbaston, into their squad for the fourth Test.
Other possible replacements for Anderson include Yorkshire's Liam Plunkett, fit-again Warwickshire seamer Chris Woakes and uncapped Derbyshire left-armer Mark Footitt.