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Test match agony stuns Collingwood.

Byline: By Simon Rushworth

A despondent Paul Collingwood reflected on his shattered Test match dream last night after it emerged Durham's vice- captain could be out of action until July.

The experienced all-rounder had set his heart on representing England at Chester-le-Street in June's historic five-day clash against Zimbabwe.

However, a serious dislocation of his left shoulder means Collingwood will have no chance to press his Test claims - even if he makes a remarkable recovery and returns to full fitness within two months.

"Whenever I get an injury the first thing I think of is how long I'll be out for," said the experienced one-day international, who hurt his shoulder diving in the field during this week's friendly against Lancashire.

"As soon as I hit the ground on Wednesday the Test match at Durham flashed through my mind.

"It would have been the biggest match of my career had I played but I'll just have to forget about it now.

"It would have been a dream come true. It's incredibly bad timing but what can I do?"

All Collingwood can do is wait for the results of today's scan and wait for a more detailed prognosis of his damaged shoulder.

The 26-year-old's absence is a major blow for Durham, who launched the 2003 season at a sun-drenched Riverside yesterday, and coach Martyn Moxon must now reassess his plans prior to next week's Championship opener at Taunton against Somerset.

"When the swelling goes down our medical staff will be able to assess the damage but it took the accident and emergency staff four hours to pop it back in," added Collingwood.

"Injuries are part and parcel of the game but it was my aim to play Test cricket this year and it would have been great if I could have done that at Durham.

"I would have needed a few big innings to push my claims but I was confident of a solid start to the season. I'll just have to make sure I come back stronger."

Collingwood does not expect to dispense with his sling for at least six weeks and even then his fitness levels will have plummeted.

Indeed, one of Durham's blue chip performers now looks set to miss the start of the club's 20:20 season and may even struggle to tackle India A at Chester-le-Street in the final week of June.

Meanwhile, Mark Davies, Durham's Billingham-born all-rounder, has been told to rest for a week after suffering a recurrence of the haemothorax which forced an operation last year.

The 22-year-old complained of pains in his chest and a shortage of breath during the warm-up ahead of Wednesday's clash with Lancashire and was taken to hospital.

A specialist assessed Davies yesterday and Moxon explained: "It's not as bad as we at first feared.

"The specialist was quite upbeat and said there was no need to be overly concerned. Mark was diagnosed with a collapsed lung 18 months ago but the operation appeared to have been a success. Hopefully this will prove to be nothing more than a scare."

South Africa booked their place in the TVS Cup final by inflicting a fourth defeat in the tournament on hosts Bangladesh.

New skipper Graeme Smith hit 67 to set South Africa on their way to 261 for five from their 50 overs, with his predecessor Shaun Pollock blasting an unbeaten 38 and taking three for 17 as Bangladesh were bowled out for 168.
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Apr 18, 2003
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