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Page last updated at 10:22 GMT, Wednesday, 20 August 2008 11:22 UK

Rhodes plays down Jones concerns

Simon Jones
Injured Simon Jones is not expected to play again this season

Worcestershire director of cricket Steve Rhodes has played down the seriousness of the latest injury setback to star paceman Simon Jones.

Injuries have prevented the 29-year-old from playing for England since the 2005 Ashes series and Jones now requires surgery on a knee cartilage problem.

"It is a wear-and-tear injury. I am confident he will be fine in the long term," said Rhodes.

"Simon is a bit down. He is sick to the back teeth with injuries."

Jones was one of the stars of England's 2005 Ashes campaign, playing the first four Tests and taking 18 wickets as his reverse swing baffled Australia.

But an ankle injury ruled him out of the series-clinching match at The Oval and the problems quickly began to mount for Jones, with a serious knee injury keeping him out of action for almost two years.

A move from Glamorgan to Worcestershire in October 2007 seemed to have changed his luck as Jones shone with 42 championship wickets at an average of only 18.02 and began to be talked about in England terms again.

Jones was included in England's preliminary 30-man squad for the Champions Trophy in September but a scan has revealed Jones needs minor surgery to clean up his knee.

"He's disappointed not to reach some of the targets he set himself, such as 50 championship wickets this season," added Rhodes.

"But the arthroscopy is just a service really and the result of a career as an impact fast bowler."

Rhodes added: "He has done marvellously for us. He has given our attack something it didn't have. He has been an aggressive, impact bowler and I've been delighted with him.

"He has made the England selectors notice him and to make the initial squad for the Champions Trophy was a fantastic effort.

"The goal was to get him through to the end of the season and we almost got there but if you had asked me at the start of the season, I'd have settled for what we've had from Simon during the past four months.

"He's proved he can still bowl extremely well and take wickets," Rhodes told BBC Hereford and Worcester.

"When you look back at the huge positives that he has shown us this season, maybe we should be very grateful for what he has done.

"Whilst it's disappointing for Simon and ourselves we're very pleased with what he has done for us - there have been lots of good things."

see also
Jones set to miss rest of season
19 Aug 08 |  Worcestershire
Jones delight at England call-up
04 Jul 08 |  Worcestershire
Jones 'close to England recall'
27 Jun 08 |  Worcestershire
What went wrong for England?
05 Jan 07 |  England
Jones seeks return to Ashes form
02 Jun 08 |  Cricket
Worcestershire seal Jones signing
19 Oct 07 |  Worcestershire
Vaughan and Jones returning home
27 Feb 06 |  England
Proud Jones savours Wisden award
11 Apr 06 |  England
Ashes series ratings
13 Sep 05 |  Ashes 2005
Injured Jones to miss final Test
06 Sep 05 |  England

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