Worcestershire CCC have received encouraging news about the fitness of Club Captain Joe Leach.

It means the 27-year-old can now begin the final stage of his rehabilitation programme with a view to resuming playing Seconds cricket during the next few weeks.

Worcestershire Head Of Sports Science and Medicine, Ben Davies, said: “Joe has had a repeat scan and it was positive news regarding his back.

“He can now start his final phase of rehabilitation work before looking towards a return to playing.

“In the coming weeks he will hopefully return to second eleven cricket with a view to returning to first team cricket once he has adequate workloads.”

Paceman George Scrimshaw is back bowling after missing the pre-season tour of Abu Dhabi as a precautionary measure because of some stiffness around his lower back.

Davies said: “George is back bowling. It wasn’t anything too serious. We just didn’t want to risk him on tour and ramp his workloads up before he was ready.

“He is back to bowling and will be looking to play in the Seconds in the coming weeks.”

Fellow paceman Dillon Pennington should also be available sooner rather than later as he recovers from a bruised heel.

Davies said: “Dillon will do gym work and we will introduce him back to bowling over the next few weeks and then we will get him back into second team cricket.”