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Warwickshire without Rankin for six weeks
Warwickshire's Championship hopes have been dealt another severe blow with the news that fast bowler Boyd Rankin is expected to miss the first six weeks of the season with a stress reaction in his right foot.
Warwickshire were already resigned to be without allrounder Chris Woakes for the first six-to-eight weeks of the season after he sustained an injury to his ankle ligaments. Woakes and Rankin were expected to open the bowling for Warwickshire this season.
Rankin, the tall Ireland international, has had a busy winter representing Ireland in the ICC's World Cricket League and World Twenty20 qualifiers, as well as for England Lions in Bangladesh and an ICC Combined Associate and Affiliate XI in Dubai.
Ashley Giles, Warwickshire's director of cricket, said: "It's disappointing to lose Boyd just before the start of the season, but we do have a strong bowling attack and it's a good opportunity for one of the younger seamers to make a big impression. We also have the benefit of not starting our County Championship campaign until next Thursday.
"It's extremely frustrating that we've lost Boyd to this kind of injury, but he has had an extremely large workload over recent months. We will need to manage this to ensure that it doesn't become a regular occurrence."
George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo