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Page last updated at 06:17 GMT, Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Injured Graeme Swann to miss England ODIs in Australia

Fourth one-day international: Australia v England
Venue: Adelaide Date: Wednesday, 26 January Start time: 0320 GMT
Coverage: Live Test Match Special commentary on BBC 5 live sports extra, Radio 4 LW and the BBC Sport website (UK users only); live text commentary on BBC Sport website & mobiles; also live on Sky Sports 1

Graeme Swann
Swann attended the Australian Open tennis in Melbourne

Graeme Swann is out of the one-day series with Australia with a back injury but is expected to be fit for the start of the World Cup next month.

Swann will fly home from the Australia tour on Wednesday because of a lower back strain.

England, who trail 3-0 in the series, had already been forced to cope without Swann for two matches after the 31-year-old suffered a bruised kneecap.

"It's frustrating but the priority for me now is the World Cup," said Swann.

"I've had the time of my life over here and bringing back the Ashes is something that will always stay with me," added Swann, who took 15 wickets as England beat Australia 3-1 in the Test series to retain the Ashes.

However England have lost the opening three one-day fixtures and need an abrupt change of form to make the seven-match series competitive.

"I will be following the rest of the series and hope to see England put in some positive performances over the next fortnight," Swann added.

After missing the last two ODIs he had been expected to be back for the penultimate match of the series. However England did not want to take any chances with a player ranked as the number one spinner in the world and who will be a valuable asset on the spin-friendly World Cup wickets in India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

The World Cup starts on 19 February, although England's opener against the Netherlands is not until three days later.

We are coming towards the end of a long, hard tour and certainly the physical challenges are starting to take their toll

England coach Andy Flower

Coach Andy Flower admitted the long tour was taking its toll on the players, but expects Swann to return refreshed for the World Cup.

"It is best for him [Swann] to go home and get ready for the World Cup," he said. "It is a big blow because he is an important part of our side.

"He is a world-class performer and he is full of confidence after the Ashes, but these things happen.

"We are coming towards the end of a long, hard tour and certainly the physical challenges are starting to take their toll.

"He's got this knee problem but he's also strained his lower back. It's an opportunity to get him home, his wife is giving birth soon so it all fits - he can take a break before the World cup and hopefully be fully fit and ready to go."

England are already without Tim Bresnan , who returned early with a calf strain, although Stuart Broad is back in the squad after missing three Ashes Tests with a stomach muscle injury.

And James Anderson has returned for the fourth ODI in Adelaide on Wednesday after a break in England.

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see also
Flintoff warning for England team
25 Jan 11 |  England
Trott ton sets up England victory
26 Jan 11 |  England
Injury forces Bresnan to fly home
23 Jan 11 |  England
Prior in England World Cup squad
19 Jan 11 |  England
Cricket World Cup 2011
09 Mar 11 |  Cricket
England in Australia 2010-11
08 Oct 09 |  Cricket

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