AUSTRALIA batsman David Warner has picked up an injury ahead of the First Test of this summer’s Ashes, starting on Thursday.
The shamed Aussie star, 32, could now miss the game at the Edgbaston in what would have been his Test return in England.
Warner and then-captain Steve Smith were caught red-handed in the Sandpapergate scandal and are expected to be booed mercilessly in Birmingham this summer.
The two batsmen were already on the receiving end of some abuse from the raucous crowds at the World Cup.
But now, Warner’s spot in the starting line-up for the Edgbaston Test looks to be in jeopardy as he left training with a bruised knee.
With less than three days to recover, it could be that Australia are forced to start with a brand new opening pair for the massive clash.
Warner, Smith and fellow Sandpapergate team-mate Cameron Bancroft have all been named in the Ashes squad for this summer’s five-match series.
And the news of Warner’s injury will be another major boost for England – who go into the series as favourites thanks to James Anderson, according to Aussie legend Glenn McGrath.
The legendary bowler claimed: “Jimmy’s got the record now and it won’t be beaten.
“For a fast bowler to beat whatever record he sets, they are going to have to play 150 Tests-plus.
“And I can’t see bowlers playing long enough to beat the record, just from the nature of the beast of being a fast bowler.
“There is a lot of pounding, a lot of stress and to be able to play long enough is something pretty special.
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“Jimmy has played 148 Tests and that alone is absolutely incredible.”
Many expect this to be Anderson’s last Ashes even though he has not ruled out going Down Under in 2021-22 — when he would be 39.
And McGrath said: “If he’s got that desire, he’s still enjoying it, he’s bowling well and taking wickets, then he can play for as long as he wants.”