Dubai: Fast bowler Tim Bresnan will miss England's opening tour match in the United Arab Emirates against an ICC Combined Associate and Affiliate XI on Saturday.

Bresnan is still recovering from surgery to remove bone fragments from his elbow in December and has not bowled since the squad arrived in Dubai on Tuesday for a Test, one-day international and Twenty20 series against Pakistan starting on January 17.

Bresnan is still recovering from surgery to remove bone fragments from his elbow.

"He's got some swelling on the back of his operation," England captain Andrew Strauss said on Friday. "It is responding well to treatment but it is a bit uncomfortable for him and he is not quite ready.

"With operations you can never be 100 percent sure how the recuperation is going to go but there are no long-term worries about it really. Hopefully the recovery will continue and he will be ready for the second warmup game."

England has started the tour with question marks over the fitness of fast bowlers Bresnan, Stuart Broad (shoulder) and Chris Tremlett (back), and Tremlett is a doubt for Saturday's three-day tour opener because of a sore eye.

However, the squad contains cover in the form of Graham Onions, who has traveled for the early weeks of the trip as a backup player, and Steven Finn.

Saturday's match against a team made up of the best players from the second-tier international teams, including Ireland and Afghanistan, is taking place at the International Cricket Council's Global Cricket Academy in Dubai.

"It is a good idea from the ICC and a great shop window for some of the players from the Associate nations," Strauss said.

"We know some of their players but we do not know them all so we have got to be prepared to adapt pretty quickly to whatever we come up against."

Coach of the ICC XI, Mudassar Nazar, the former Pakistan allrounder, said his players were ready to make life difficult for the world's No. 1 Test team.

"We are strong and we are looking to win the match," he said. "Every time Associate players get to play against a Test-playing nation it is just like a World Cup final.

"It is great as there is a lot of criticism at times of the Associate teams in various quarters so it is like a showcase for us to stand up and be counted.

"I am sure the boys are ready and that they will do well."

England's second and final warmup match before the first Test is against a Pakistan Cricket Board XI starting on January 11.

(Agencies)