England Upbeat as Jones Tests Injured Ankle

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Byline: MIKE DICKSON

SIMON JONES will have his first bowl in 10 days this afternoon, with England increasingly confident he will be fit for Thursday's Ashes decider at The Oval.

The condition of the Glamorgan pace bowler's sore right ankle has improved sufficiently to encourage belief within Michael Vaughan's squad that a key member of their attack will be ready to resume battle with Australia.

The encouraging news was in stark contrast to developments among the tourists, who called up Middlesex seamer Stuart Clark as official cover for Glenn McGrath.

Jones, who will have an outing in the nets today, was yesterday said to have woken up almost pain-free for the first time since Trent Bridge.

England bowling coach Troy Cooley said: 'He is very keen to play and he has been doing all the right things to make it possible.

'We won't know for sure until he has had a decent bowl in the nets and that's likely tomorrow, with a lighter workout on Wednesday. The medical people are pleased with the way he has gone.' Jones has a growth on the bone at the front of his ankle which has caused inflamation. The root cause is thought to be his habit of dragging his foot in the delivery stride. …