Injuries mount up but Ennis heads towards Paris

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UK Athletics head coach Charles van Commenee insists all is not lost despite a number of “freak” injuries picked up by British athletes recently - including Sheffield’s Jessica Ennis.

Pole vaulter Steve Lewis suffered a suspected fractured thumb when his pole snapped during the Aviva Grand Prix in Birmingham on Saturday, while sprinter Mark Lewis-Francis left the arena on crutches after picking up an abductor problem.

That has ruled the former Olympic relay gold medallist out of the upcoming European Indoor Championships in Paris, while fellow sprinter Harry Aikines-Aryeetey is doubtful after also suffering an injury in Saturday’s 60m final at the National Indoor Arena. Add in the serious ankle injury suffered by Steph Twell in a cross-country race in Belgium and the “niggling” ankle problem for Ennis, and Van Commenee had to concede he may have been tempting fate by saying his athletes had been largely injury free.

“I did. I tried to say that we were on top of things and then some freak accidents happened in the last week with Twell, Lewis and Lewis-Francis,” said Van Commenee, who will name the British team for Paris today. “These are things you can’t control and prevent from happening.

Van Commenee said the likelihood of Ennis competing in Paris is “much higher” than not.”