England fast bowler James Anderson has been ruled out of the first Test against South Africa with a calf injury.
The 33-year-old had a scan on Tuesday after feeling tightness and discomfort having bowled just five overs in the first tour game against an Invitation XI in Potchefstroom earlier this month.
Coach Trevor Bayliss admitted on Wednesday that Anderson`s fitness was a concern and England must now enter the series, which starts on Boxing Day at Kingsmead, without their spearhead.
Fellow fast bowler Stuart Broad says the loss of Anderson is a concern but feels the squad has the depth to cope with his absence.
"Of course it`s disappointing when you lose the spearhead of your attack but rather than be disappointed and start thinking he`s out for the series - this is only a minor niggle," he told Sky Sports News HQ.
"He`s only out for the first Test match of the series; it`s a four-Test series and we want him to play some part in it. There`s not the need to take the risk with him because of the depth we have in the squad.
"He`s disappointed he`s missing the Test match but it`s not a hammer blow to us. I think he could be okay for Cape Town - if you speak to him he`ll probably tell you he could play here but there is something slightly off with it.
"The medical staff don`t want to take a huge risk with him. It might have been a different story if this was the final Test of the series.
"With Steven Finn coming back and bowling nicely we`ve got good depth."
Anderson has claimed 426 Test wickets during his career and overtook previous record-holder Sir Ian Botham during England`s tour of the Caribbean earlier this year.
During 2015, he has taken 46 wickets in 11 Tests but has a mediocre record on South African soil where his five Tests have yielded just 18 victims.
Anderson may not be able to add to that tally but Broad feels his experience and knowledge could prove invaluable to England at Kingsmead.
"He`s already announced himself as assistant bowling coach to Ottis Gibson," added Broad.
"He`s very keen to share his wealth of experience. We haven`t toured here for six years - a long gap - and I don`t know how good his memory is but he will be able to help whoever takes the new ball.
"Jimmy said when he missed game in the Ashes that you see the game differently from the changing room to the middle, so having that experience to feed back into the group will help."
Steven Finn will likely lead the attack along with Broad in Anderson`s absence, with Chris Woakes expected to take his place in the team and operate as the third seamer.
Joe Root, who sat out practice on Thursday with a stomach bug, is expected to recover in time to take the field on Boxing Day.
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