London: England off spinner Graeme Swann has admitted his chronic right elbow injury could hinder his chances of playing in the Ashes series this year ahead of their first Test match against New Zealand in Dunedin on Wednesday.
"We are embarking on arguably England`s greatest year of Test cricket ever and I can`t wait for the back-to-back Ashes series. But I have one big worry - the state of my right elbow," Swann wrote in his column for a daily.
"It caused me discomfort again during our only warm-up match before tonight`s First Test and I had to leave the field. I`ll be honest, the elbow is always a concern. It`s been hanging over me for several years and, despite having an operation in 2009, the problem hasn`t entirely gone away," he added.
"It would be a massive pain in the backside if my wonky elbow forced me to miss any of the Tests against Australia. I`m absolutely determined to be available for what might be my final two Ashes series and that means managing the elbow as well as possible," he further wrote.
Swann added: "I was rested from the one-day series in India and that meant I had around seven weeks at home, which was brilliant. It gave the elbow a nice break. But it stiffened up during our three-wicket defeat to a New Zealand XI in Queenstown and I went off for some treatment."
"Had it been a Test match, I would have carried on bowling and suffered the consequences the next day. Clearly, needing treatment in my first match after a long break was not great. But I was able to come back on to the field and bowl again," he wrote.
"This year of all years, I don`t want the elbow to cause any problems. I want to be fit for as much Test cricket as possible and, fingers crossed, I will be," he concluded.
First Published: Tuesday, March 05, 2013, 14:33