DateLine: 16th September 2006
Steve Harmison's planned return from injury has been put back, increasing England's concerns over the fitness of their leading pace bowler ahead of the Ashes series in Australia later this year.
Harmison, who missed the recent one-day series against Pakistan with back problems, had been due to play for his county, Durham, in their final match of the season at Yorkshire next week.
But the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) have decided that Harmison will require further rehabilitation work as they seek to ensure the bowler is fit in time for England's departure for the Champions Trophy in India on October 7.
England officials insisted the move was purely precautionary rather than an indication that Harmison's problems were more serious than initially thought.
"Stephen's withdrawal from this match will allow for a more gradual progression in his recovery programme," said David Graveney, the chairman of the England selectors. "He will continue to work with the Durham and England medical staff as well as ECB fast-bowling coach Kevin Shine, and we anticipate that he will be fully fit for the ICC Champions Trophy."
England are also confident seamer Matthew Hoggard will be fit for the trip to India after a scan on a side strain revealed no serious injury. Hoggard will however miss Yorkshire's two remaining matches this season with the ECB due to reassess his condition early next week
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