WORCESTERSHIRE are hopeful all-rounder Gareth Andrew may be able to resume bowling by the end of the season as he continues to recover from a fracture in his back.
The 30-year-old can continue to play as a batsman without it having an adverse effect on his rehabilitation programme, but he hasn’t bowled in first-class cricket since picking up the injury in early May.
Andrew had an initial scan four weeks ago which showed a fracture through one of the lumbar pedicles in his back and, although the bone is continuing to heal, the process is taking longer than originally anticipated.
The former Somerset player saw a specialist earlier this week and it was then decided to put on hold any plans to return to bowling until the end of August when he will have a further scan.
Andrew made a flying start to the season with 20 wickets in the opening four County Championship matches when taking the new ball, including a career-best 5-40 against Glamorgan at the Swalec Stadium.
He said it was really frustrating not to be able to bowl after such a good start.
“Even more frustrating for me is that I can do everything except bowl so I can runaround and bat and I feel great but I just can’t bowl at the moment,” he added.
“The specialist has said it hasn’t had long enough to heal so to come back in a couple of months and have another scan and hopefully it will then have settled down a lot more and I can carry on then.
“The good thing is it is one of those things that over time will heal. I just have to get my head around that it’s not the biggest problem in the world.
“Every game you miss is disappointing. I will hopefully contribute with the bat if I get the opportunity. The one time I did, I did alright (against Durham Jets) and hopefully I will again at some stage.”
Worcestershire physiotherapist Ben Davies said: “Gareth had a specialist CT scan in London four weeks ago and it showed a fracture through one of his lumbar pedicles.
“The positive signs are that the scan shows that it is healing. We have to take the positives away from that scan that he is going to make a full recovery and it is going to heal which means we will have a fully fit Gareth Andrew hopefully towards the back end of the season.
“We will try and target a couple of games at the end of the season, see if we can get him back bowling for those. We’ll re-scan him at the end of August. If that shows the bone is fully healed then we’ll be pretty confident to get him back to bowling then.”