England’s Ben Stokes claimed the knee problem that kept him out of the first Ashes match was a flare-up of an older condition, and he’s certain he’ll be fine for the second match in Adelaide this week. After injuring his knee, Stokes scored five and 14 in Australia’s nine-wicket loss in Brisbane and bowled only 12 wicketless overs. After mental health vacation and recuperation following surgery on a broken finger, it was his first competitive match since July.

In his column for The Mirror, Stokes wrote, “Having a long vacation is going to show itself, but there are no excuses. I didn’t do anything but take a catch and bowl a few no-balls, so the one bright spot is that I probably won’t become any worse. People may have noticed me rubbing my knee now and then when I was out in the field, but don’t worry, I’m good.” It’s an old injury that flares up now and again, but I’m used to dealing with it. It just gets a little bit uncomfortable… in and around my cartilage, but it just looks worse than it is because I try to get off it as quickly as possible.”

Joe Root, England’s captain, believes Stokes will be able to contribute more in the remaining games of the series, despite the injury.

“Clearly, he had a jarring of his knee. Hopefully, it’s just something he’s brushed off now, and you can see him back at full intensity, which offers us all alternatives,” Root added. On Thursday, the second test of the five-match series begins.