England’s Mark Wood eager to end injury ‘stigma’ with Ashes return on Boxing Day

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 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Mark Wood has declared himself ready and raring to go for the Boxing Day Test as he looks to remove the “stigma” around his fitness.

Wood performed well in the First Test of the series, picking up three wickets, but pulled up stiff and was rested by England for the Second Test in Adelaide, which was also lost.

Australian observers, impressed by his pace, were shocked by his omission.

Wood, who has chronic ankle issues, says he could have played the Second Test, but the decision was taken out of his hands, and he “accepted” it.

“For the match I did plenty of stuff behind closed doors as well, so it wasn’t just like I had an actual week of rest,” he said. "I was still bowling in the nets and keeping my fitness up, so ready to go if selected for the next game.”

“I have managed to play back-to-back Tests in the last couple of years. It’s something I’ve worked hard at with my fitness and things like that. Obviously the times where I’ve broken down, I’ve tried my best to make them less and less. I was ready to go if required for this game, but the decision was made that I would be left out. I accept that. We’re all part of a team here that’s trying to win the Ashes.”

Wood says there is “no set plan” over how many games he will play in the series, now he is the last member of England’s pace trio – alongside the injured Jofra Archer and Olly Stone – left standing.

“No, there’s no set plan,” he said.

“That was the decision made for this game. Selections are constantly made throughout the tour about what’s best for the team, whatever that might be, so there was no set plan. I’ve tried to get that sort of stigma away from me, where I can’t play back-to-back game. I have tried my best over the last couple of years with my fitness. I’m trying to get away from that.”

Wood is confident he can play better than he did at Brisbane.

“I think I can still bowl even better than I did in Brisbane,” he said. “I’ve looked at my lengths a lot and things like that and there was times at Brisbane I felt I probably didn’t get the length right because they would leave the ball well so it’d be slightly too short. Then when you overpitched it was easy to score so it’s trying to get that length write.”

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