| Simon Jones being stretchered off the Gabba after his knee injury Thursday. (AP/PTI)
Brisbane: England fast bowler Simon Jones was ruled out of the Ashes tour on the first day of the first Test after injuring his knee while fielding.
England coach Duncan Fletcher said Jones, who was stretchered off, would need reconstruction surgery and would be out of action for a minimum of six months.
The news of Jones’ injury was a massive blow for Nasser Hussain’s struggling side, already without their most experienced strike bowler Darren Gough because of injury. England have already called up Alex Tudor into the squad as cover.
“We believed he was the sort of bowler who...could do something for us,” Fletcher said.
Jones was admitted to St. Andrews hospital in Brisbane for a series of scans which confirmed he had ruptured the anterior cruciate ligaments in his right knee.
He will require a complete reconstruction once he returns home but will have to remain in Australia for another two weeks to allow the swelling to go down before flying to London.
“Obviously, I’m gutted about what’s happened but it’s something that I feel I can get over,” Jones said. “I broke my left leg before playing rugby when I was 17 and I’ve also had stress fractures of the shin and the foot since then. “I’ve come back from those injuries so I’m backing myself to come back from this too.”
The accident happened when Jones, playing in just his second Test, slipped and twisted his knee in a clumsy attempt to retrieve a ball he had already fumbled.
“It didn’t really hurt that much to be honest (but) I just knew there was something wrong immediately,” he said. “The grass is different here though — it’s more sandy-based because they play Aussie Rules football on the same surface — and my studs caught and I landed awkwardly on my right knee.”