England seamer Chris Woakes may not be fit for the first two of the upcoming four-match Test cricket series against South Africa due to the side strain that he suffered during their ICC Champions Trophy opening match against Bangladesh on June 1.
The Test series, which starts from July 6 at Lord's, holds immense importance to the English side as South Africa have won both of the last Test series played between the two teams in England.
"It's a left side strain and there is a tear in the muscle. It's a grade-two injury, which is not terrible news, but it's not great news at the same time," Woakes was quoted as saying by espncricinfo on Tuesday.
"They say it's roughly a four-to-six week injury, and it's more likely to be towards the six when I am back playing competitive cricket," the 28-year-old right-armer added.
"I'm on day five of my recovery now, and the physios say for the first 10 to 14 days there's not a lot we can do other than rest it."
The injury to Woakes means that two of England's three first choice pace bowlers are doubtful, as veteran James Anderson is also suffering from a groin injury. There is also a question mark over the fitness of all-rounder Ben Stokes with his knee not being in perfect condition.
In absence of Woakes and Anderson, England will look to give a chance to their backup bowlers like Mark Wood, Steven Finn, Jake Ball,and Toby Roland-Jones.
In 2012 South Africa was the country which replaced England as the number one team in the Test rankings by winning a series played between the two teams by a 2-0 margin.