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Broken finger for Ambrose?

Wicketkeeper suffering from "nasty" injury

Ambrose: Finger injury

England coach Peter Moores has revealed that wicketkeeper Tim Ambrose is suffering from a suspected broken finger.

The Warwickshire player apparently suffered the injury to his left ring finger as South Africa opened their second innings in the fourth Test on Friday evening.

The news capped a miserable Saturday for Ambrose, who missed a chance to remove in-form Proteas batsman Hashim Amla as bad weather dominated proceedings at the Oval.

Having made 58, Amla got an inside edge off all-rounder Andrew Flintoff behind the stumps which Ambrose failed to collect, despite a one-handed diving catch to his left.

The batsman eventually finished unbeaten on 71, with South Africa's second innings poised on 110-2 when rain forced play to be abandoned shortly before lunch.

"Timmy has damaged a finger, which is quite nasty actually but as all true keepers do, he got stuck in and he's carrying on but it's quite painful," Moores said.

"It might be broken, we don't know but in some ways there's not much point in doing much about it now because the game's on so it's one of those where we'll assess it at the end of the game.

"He's happy to carry on, the doctor's seen it and doesn't think he has done any structural damage so he'll carry on with painkillers and we'll sort it out afterwards."

Difficult

Former Worcestershire and Sussex wicketkeeper Moores insisted the injury did not have a bearing on Ambrose being unable to take the catch, which he believes was a difficult chance.

"He did brilliantly because it was definitely no more than a half or a third chance," he explained.

"He got a hand on it but if you watch the footage back he's got an awfully long way to get there.

"Inside edges are especially difficult for keepers because you're setting yourself for the outside edge all the time.

"I'd give him credit for getting a hand to it, actually - I wouldn't have got anywhere near it, don't worry about that!"

However, given that England were looking to gain momentum having taking the initiative on the opening two days, the incident will doubtless be seized upon by those who question Ambrose's place in the side.

He has already made a number of fumbles behind the stumps and has also struggled with the bat, a situation which has led to former Sussex team-mate Matt Prior replacing him in the one-day squad.

But Moores believes Ambrose is a strong enough character to come through his current struggles.

"Timmy handles things really well - he's a very level-headed bloke," Moores added.

"Whether he's done well by getting a hundred at Wellington or had tougher times, he stays very much at an even keel which is very much a strength of his.

"He makes some difficult things look very easy when the ball wobbles and moves around so I think he's handled himself very well.

"It's a pressure environment, we know that and he knows that, and he's desperate to get a score in the second innings."

Sidebottom rested

Moores also confirmed that Ryan Sidebottom has been rested in order to prepare him for the upcoming NatWest one-day series and Twenty20 international against the tourists.

The left-arm seamer is believed to be suffering with shoulder, neck and groin problems. However, the back trouble which forced him out of the second Test against South Africa has cleared up.

Sidebottom's absence has been off-set by an impressive return from replacement Steve Harmison, who took two wickets in South Africa's first innings as well as making a career-best 49 with the bat.