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Down... but not out: Jones targets Lanka

England pace bowler hopes to return from his latest injury setback in time for the first Test against Sri Lanka at Lord's next month.

india Updated: Apr 14, 2006 13:13 IST

England pace bowler Simon Jones hopes to return from his latest injury setback in time for the first test against Sri Lanka at Lord's next month.

"Put simply, I'm as fit and as strong as possible," the 27-year-old Welshman told the Guardian on Friday.

The injury-plagued Glamorgan bowler has not featured for England since the fourth test of last year's Ashes series. He missed the final test at the Oval due to an ankle injury, which also forced him out of the tour of Pakistan.

He seemed fully recovered before the current trip to India but twisted his left knee in the nets before the first test and was forced to fly home for further surgery.

Jones, who was named this week as one of Wisden's five cricketers of the year, was out of cricket for over a year after suffering severe ligament damage to his right knee in a fielding mishap on the opening day of the 2002 Ashes tour of Australia.

Rain prevented him gaining useful time in the middle in Glamorgan's pre-season friendly match against Northamptonshire this week but he insists his recovery is going well.

"I've done six weeks of rehabilitation, I saw the surgeon two weeks ago and he was really happy, and that gives me confidence everything is right," said Jones, who took 18 wickets to help England regain the Ashes last year.

"The work I'd done previously to sort out my right knee has actually set me up pretty well to deal with other injuries. I've been doing a lot of running and weight programmes, now I just want to get out there and bowl."

England play three tests and five one-day internationals against Sri Lanka, with the first test starting on May 11.