Wood not giving up hope of Ashes role

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Mark Wood could be set to offer England another bowling option for the Ashes after nearing full fitness while training with the Lions.

Wood was overlooked for the initial touring party due to a heel problem, but his condition continues to improve.

The 27-year-old travelled to Australia with England's second-tier side and has been bowling in the nets in Brisbane to ensure he remains in the selectors' minds.

While the first Test gets underway at the Gabba on Thursday, the Lions will face a Queensland XI before further matches in Perth, games which Wood is sure to be part of.

However, the seamer has not given up hope of joining the main squad as they look to regain the urn.

"I'm getting there," Wood said, as quoted by the Daily Mail.

"I felt pretty good at the end of the championship season against Worcester[shire] but it was a bit too late for selection.

"I've had a series of sugar injections which sounds a bit bizarre but it's the sort of thing that could work long-term. I feel pretty good when I'm running now so it is just a case of building it up and getting match practice in.

"It was tough when I came here, seeing the lads preparing for the Test while I was with the Lions. It's nice to see everyone but hard to be on the edge of things.

"It's obviously a huge occasion for everyone here and I'm still hoping at some point I might be part of it. It's a long series and if there's an injury I want to be raring to go. The more I bowl in training and games will get me there."

And Wood revealed he had spoken to England's selection panel, who gave him hope of playing some part in the series if he can prove his fitness.

He added: "I had meetings with Andrew Strauss, Trevor Bayliss and James Whitaker at the end of the season and they said that if I got my body right I'd be in a position still to have an impact in this series.

"I'm not here to put any of the lads under pressure. I've had enough injuries myself to know you don't want people to go through that. But if there is an injury I might be in the background and I can just slot in."