London: England fast bowler James Anderson will miss the fifth and final Ashes Test against Australia as he has failed to recover fully from a side strain, captain Alastair Cook said on Wednesday.
Anderson, who suffered the injury in the third Test at Edgbaston, was still around a week away from full fitness, added Cook. He only returned to bowl in the nets on Tuesday.
"Unfortunately he`s not going to make it," Cook said. "He`s gutted about it. He`s made really good progress from where he was at Edgbaston but this is a week or so too soon.
"He bowled in the nets yesterday but at about 60-70 percent and that`s not how you go into a game. He`s really gutted. The medical team have been brilliant with him but he`s still about a week away."
England have already won the Ashes at 3-1 up with just the Oval Test to come.
Cook, who added England would field a team unchanged from the one that played in the fourth Test barring a late injury, said leaving Anderson out had been made easier by the fact the Ashes had already been regained.
"Jimmy`s not fit," he said. "As much hard work as he has put in, he`s not right. It`s a hard question to answer, if it was 2-2, but the way Mark (Wood) has come in and bowled in the series, certainly in the first game and the last game, we have options. Especially with Liam Plunkett as well, we have good strength in depth."
There had been speculation that Yorkshire leg-spinner Adil Rashid might make his Test debut at The Oval ahead of tours of the United Arab Emirates and South Africa later this year.
But Cook said the only consideration for England in selection was picking a side to win the series 4-1, with no England team ever having won four Tests in a home Ashes series.
"We come into this game trying to win this series 4-1," he said.
"That`s what we`ve discussed. Adil has been with us in every single squad but the pitches haven`t quite suited two spinners so Adil`s had to wait for his chance.
"As a cricketer, he`s really improving and he feels a lot more comfortable in the England environment. There`s a one-day series to come so he`ll probably get his chance in that."
Australia are set to make at least one change to their side after fast bowler Josh Hazlewood was ruled out with a "niggling" injury after he didn`t bowl in the nets on Tuesday because of shin soreness.
"Currently he does have some niggling problems that we would like to manage," Australia coach Darren Lehmann said of Hazlewood.
"As such, he was not considered for selection for the fifth Test."
Fellow fast bowler Pat Cummins is now in line to replace Hazlewood at The Oval.