Hip injury rules Cook out of Essex opener


England opening Test batsman Alastair Cook has been ruled out of Essex's first County Championship game of 2017 with a hip injury.

Cook stood down as captain of England's five-day side in February, following a chastening 4-0 series defeat in India.

He was replaced by Joe Root but with England not in Test action until the visit of South Africa in early July, Cook is hoping to play himself into form with his county side.

His early-season preparations have suffered a blow, however, following Wednesday's announcement that an ongoing hip injury had left him unable to feature against Lancashire on Friday.

A statement from the England and Wales Cricket Board confirmed that a scan had "ruled out serious injury", with Cook to receive an injection to help alleviate the issue.

"I've got a sore hip, which is not getting right," Cook said, in quotes reported by ESPNCricinfo. "We're going to go for a different bit of treatment and hopefully it will be all right for Somerset [on April 14]. It's just frustrating to miss the first game.

"That's the key in one sense [not taking chances], the first Test match is in July. Ultimately the hip's not quite right, so it needs to get right before you can play. It's been going for a month or so now."