Wellington - England have played down injury concerns
surrounding Ben Stokes ahead of the first Test against New Zealand, saying he
should be fit to play.
The star all-rounder picked up a back niggle in the recently
completed one-day series win over the Black Caps and has reportedly not trained
He also missed England's two-day warm-up against a New
Zealand XI this week to prepare for the pink-ball Test in Auckland starting on
England assistant coach Paul Farbrace said Stokes should be
fit to play in a second warm-up match beginning on Friday, even if he acted
solely as a batsman.
But Farbrace insisted the 26-year-old was on track to
feature with both bat and ball for the day-night Test at Eden Park.
"There's plenty of time next week for him to get overs
and be ready for the Test match in Auckland," he told Sky Sports UK.
If he plays, it will be Stokes's first Test appearance since
the nightclub fracas that forced him out of England's losing Ashes series
He pleaded not guilty in Bristol Crown Court this week to a
charge of affray, appearing via video link from New Zealand.