The Durham man has replaced the injured Chris Tremlett and will act as cover for James Anderson.
The 28-year-old has not made an England Test appearance since January 2010 due to a long-term back injury.
"Unfortunately Chris Tremlett has failed a fitness test and won't be available for selection for the fourth npower Test, despite showing strong signs of recovery over the past few days," confirmed national selector Geoff Miller.
"Tremlett's absence is in conjunction with what appears to be a minor injury concern with Jimmy Anderson has led to the call up for Graham Onions as precautionary bowling cover.
"We are hopeful Jimmy will overcome this niggle by Thursday."
Onions has taken 39 first-class wickets for Durham this season.