The England and Wales Cricket Board have confirmed James Anderson suffered a cracked rib during England's pre-Ashes training camp in Germany but expect the paceman to be fit for the first Test on November 25.
Anderson struggled during the 5-0 whitewash Down Under four years ago but has emerged as the leader of the attack in the last couple of years and any question marks over his fitness will be seen as a major blow to England's preparations.
A short ECB statement said Anderson, 28, had sustained the injury during the team's secret five-day 'boot camp' last month but added that the Lancashire seamer would fly out with the rest of the squad on October 29.
It continued: "It is anticipated that he will be fit and available for selection for the first Test against Australia in Brisbane."
England's Ashes squad took in a number of activities during the trip, including hiking, abseiling and boxing and rounded off with a group visit to Dachau concentration camp.
The captain Andrew Strauss described the camp as "tough but rewarding" — an assessment he may be forced to review if Anderson is not judged fit enough to take his place in the series opener.
The ECB have not yet named a replacement but Yorkshire's Ajmal Shahzad, who was considered unlucky by some not to make the original party, is next in line.