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England sweat on Johnson fitness

England will delay a decision on Richard Johnson's fitness for Saturday's final against South Africa until match-day.
PTI | By Agence France-Presse, London
UPDATED ON JUL 11, 2003 06:17 PM IST

England will delay a decision on pace bowler Richard Johnson's fitness for Saturday's triangular one-day series final against South Africa here at Lord's until the morning of the match.

Somerset seamer Johnson, 28, suffered a groin strain during England's four-wicket win over South Africa at Edgbaston on Tuesday and was unable to complete his quota of 10 overs.

"He (Johnson) had a decent bowl in the nets and a bat but we'll have to see how he wakes up," England one-day captain Michael Vaughan told reporters at Lord's on Friday.

"He's been an invaluable member of the team since he came in," added Vaughan of Johnson who took five wickets on his Test debut against Zimbabwe at the Riverside last month.

But throughout his career Johnson has suffered persistently from injuries, a knee problem earlier this season the latest before Tuesday's groin trouble.

"It's a worry if you are picking up injuries," Vaughan admitted while refusing to lable Johnson 'injury-prone'.

"Maybe he's just unlucky. Hopefully, tomorrow he will play."

If Johnson is unfit Durham fast bowler Stephen Harmison would be the most likely replacement.

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