England captain Ben Stokes not concerned about latest injury scare ahead of Ashes

All-rounder left hobbling after taking catch during one-off Test win over Ireland

Ben Stokes has won 11 out of 13 Tests since becoming England captain. Getty
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England captain insists Ben Stokes he is not concerned after appearing to injure his problem knee during the one-off Test against Ireland at Lord's on Saturday.

Stokes is still building up his fitness having struggled with a left knee injury since England's tour of New Zealand in February.

The all-rounder – who became the first man in Test history to captain a side to victory without batting, bowling or keeping wicket – caught Curtis Campher off part-time off-spinner Joe Root during Saturday's morning session.

But Stokes, who turned 32 on Sunday, looked in discomfort after taking the catch during England's 10-wicket win.

It sparked fears that England's talisman – who has won 11 Tests out of 13 since joining forces with coach Brendon McCullum last year – might have further damaged his knee with the Ashes series against Australia set to start at Edgbaston on June 16.

“I bowled this morning [in the nets] for the first time in four weeks and I felt really good. I was real happy with how I bowled,” said Stokes.

“I bowled for about 20 minutes and I got through that really well. Obviously I have got time to build-up before I push back into flat out but I just landed quite awkwardly when I took that catch.

“I didn't quite see it so had to adjust myself and landed on my left leg. It twisted in a really strange way but it was fine, I just don't know what really happened.

“It was one of those things, but I am 32 tomorrow so that probably explains it.”

Stokes, who said that it was never his intention to bowl against Ireland, has sent down only 17 overs in his last four matches in red-ball internationals, while he bowled just one over in two games for Chennai Super Kings in the IPL.

His team, meanwhile, completed their only warm-up game before taking on Australia by winning in convincing fashion.

Ollie Pope's 205 and a second Test century for Ben Duckett saw England declare on 524-4 in their opening innings before Stuart Broad took 5-51 to help bowl out Ireland for 172.

Despite a spirited Day 3 display with the bat, Ireland were all out for 362 – with debutant Josh Tongue finishing with 5-66 – in their second innings leaving a target of just 11 for England to seal victory.

Updated: June 04, 2023, 8:21 AM