James Anderson will go through a series of fitness tests this week in the hope of playing a considerable part in England's Test series against India. Anderson was not named in an initial 16-man squad, but Alastair Cook and coach Trevor Bayliss are hopeful of the team's record Test wicket-taker returning in time to play the final three Test matches.
Anderson remains the key bowler for England in the five-day game, with his ability to swing the new and old balls giving Alastair Cook a wicket-taking option at all times. The veteran has been out for a while now with an injured right shoulder, but the pacer will go through his, well, paces this week at Loughborough, the venue of the England cricket team's National Performance Centre.
If those tests prove to be successful, a big if as it stands, Anderson could be sent to India a day or two before the second match begins in Visakhapatnam.
However, even if the fast bowler gets to India before the start of the second Test match, he is unlikely to feature, according to the Daily Telegraph, because England do not want to rush him in too early and risk the quick getting injured again.
Anderson will also need time to acclimatise as much as possible to the conditions, so the earliest the 34-year-old could play for England again is the third Test match against India in Mohali.
"The latest I've heard is he's spending this week at Loughborough getting a number of overs under his belt and the medical people will let us know how he's gone at the end of this week and then we'll make a decision if, and when, he might be able to join us in India," Bayliss said.
Cook's side are reeling from their first ever defeat in Test match cricket to Bangladesh, and while that loss had very little to do with the bowling and a lot more to do with the English batting, there is little doubt that an England team with Anderson will have a better chance at beating India than an England side without the fast bowler.
Anderson made a big impact the last time England toured India in 2012, when they pulled off the famous series win, Cook will certainly hope he will have his talismanic bowler to bank upon for the last three Test matches.