The batsman was not on the field as his team-mates wrapped up a 347-run win in the second Test at Lord's on Sunday, having suffered a calf strain. He provided an update on his recovery on Monday, tweeting that he was "stuck on a sofa tightly fastened to an ice machine" in a bid to be ready for Old Trafford on August 1.
And fast bowler James Anderson told Sky Sports News: "As far as I know it was a strain so we'll keep our fingers crossed that he'll be fine for the Old Trafford Test. For him more than most, the next 10 days will be crucial, a lot of rehab and trying to get himself fit for next week - which we're all hoping he will be."
There are no such problems with another of England's batting line-up after Joe Root continued his rapid rise by making 180 in the second innings at Lord's.
"He's been amazing," said Anderson of the 22-year-old Yorkshireman.
"There's a lot of pressure on this series and for someone so young to take it in his stride, it's a great credit to him - he seems to thrive off it, almost. The way he has dealt with it will stand him in good stead for the future and I'm sure he's got a big future ahead of him."
Anderson expects his home track in Manchester to follow the pattern established so far in the series, with reverse swing to the fore and help also available for spinner Graeme Swann, who took nine wickets last week including five for 44 in the first innings to add his name to the honours board at HQ.
"I can't imagine it'll be too different from what we've had in the first two games, so Swanny should be involved at some point," he said.
"Reverse swing is very common at Old Trafford and it's very dry, with the weather we've been having, so I imagine that's the same at the moment.
"Obviously I'm delighted to be playing at my home ground, very excited about it. I've never played an Ashes Test there, I've not played a Test there for maybe three or four years. All my friends and family will be there watching so I can't wait."
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