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Chris Woakes

Woakes 'extra motivated' to address fitness concerns ahead of World Cup

England news

The pain of missing out on most of England's ICC Champions Trophy 2017 campaign after sustaining an injury in the first game is all too fresh for Chris Woakes. Now, the England all-rounder is doing all he can to make it to the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2019 at home.

Just two overs into his first Champions Trophy 2017 game, Woakes' campaign was cut short by a side strain. It was a frustrating experience, which has only made Woakes hungrier to feature in the upcoming Cricket World Cup 2019.

But Woakes and England have reason to be worried, as the 30-year-old had to pull out midway through the recent tour of the West Indies with a knee problem. While ruing the setback, he insisted his recovery is "heading in the right direction" and he is on course to put his hand up for the tournament.

"The issue with my knee is something I've been able to manage for quite a long period of time so I'm confident that I can still do that," Woakes wrote in a column for Sky Sports.

"You just have to look after yourself and with such an important period of cricket coming up, make sure you're at your best physically, as well as from a playing point of view. Hopefully I'm heading in the right direction for that.

"Obviously, the World Cup is just a couple of months away now and making sure I'm fully fit for that is all the motivation I need, but if I need any extra, I only have to look back at the Champions Trophy a couple of years ago and getting injured in the first match," he said.

"It was so frustrating because we'd done a lot of hard work heading into that tournament, done some really good stuff as a team and turned a corner. I actually felt in a good place with my body and then it was a bit of a freak injury.

"That can happen in professional sport, particularly as a fast bowler. But it does give me extra motivation to try and be fit for the next ICC global tournament, particularly with it being the big one."

Woakes has set himself recovery targets and is looking to put the latest knee niggle past him by playing Warwickshire's One-Day Cup opener on 19 April. "It's quite an important time for me at the minute," he said, "just trying to offload it a little bit and get it right and then hopefully I can hit the gym hard and train well and it the ground running."

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