England captain Michael Vaughan is likely to miss at least the first Test against West Indies starting May 17 after suffering a broken finger while playing for Yorkshire against Hampshire.
Vaughan, who has missed his country's previous 15 Test matches due to a catalogue of other injuries, suffered an undisplaced fracture of his right middle finger after being struck by a delivery from Hampshire's Australian seamer Stuart Clark on Thursday.
The injury is likely to keep Vaughan out for three to four weeks, making him a near-certainty to miss out for the first Test at Lord's and also for the second Test on his home Headingley ground starting on May 25.
But the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) said they would maintain a watching brief.
"Vaughan will undergo further assessment ahead of the first Test match against the West Indies at Lord's on May 17," the board said in a statement.
Yorkshire physio Scott McAllister told the Yorkshire Post, "My first reaction was that it wasn't a serious problem, but results from the hospital show that he has suffered a fractured finger."
"It's desperately bad luck for Michael. It looks like he might be out for three to four weeks, but it's too early to say with absolute certainty how long he will be out for."
Vaughan recovered from a hamstring problem in time to play for England in their disappointing World Cup campaign where he once again failed to convince as a one-day batsman. Prior to that he was sidelined by a string of career-threatening knee injuries.