Robin Martin-Jenkins is losing his battle to help Sussex kick start their faltering limited overs season.

The county had lined up their key all-rounder for a comeback after feeling no ill effects from his side strain when batting for the Second XI.

But Martin-Jenkins struggled when bowling on Friday and is now expected to be left out as Essex visit Hove this evening for a key Norwich Union League clash.

Coach Peter Moores said: "Robin has spoken to the physio who is not at all happy about it. We will look at it again but his chances are slim."

The Sussex squad practising under lights last night included Umer Rashid, fresh from impressive displays in the Second XI, and Will House, who has recovered from a knee injury.

Both sides are in the bottom three and Moores admitted: "The make-up of the team tonight will be very important.

"We have got a lot of people playing good cricket and scoring runs in the Championship, so they have got to try and transfer that.

"There should be a good atmosphere. Essex are not doing too well, so hopefully it's a chance to get up and running."

Sussex from: Goodwin, Montgomerie, Adams, Zuiderent, House, Prior, Rashid, Yardy, Davis, Robinson, Lewry, Kirtley, Carpenter, Taylor, Martin-Jenkins.

Essex from: Grayson, Robinson, Law, Irani, Foster, Peters, Napier, Cowan, Bishop, Clarke, Mason, Phillips, Anderson.