Josh Tongue is poised to return to action in the Second Eleven Championship match against Derbyshire at Belper next week.

The Worcestershire CCC paceman has been side-lined since suffering a stress reaction to a metatarsal in his left foot last month.

But he has made excellent progress with his recovery and, as things stand, is on course to play for the Seconds from August 6-8.

If he proves his fitness, the plan is for Tongue to return to senior action in the Specsavers County Championship match with Yorkshire at Scarborough from August 19 – which was always the comeback target.

Worcestershire Head Coach Kevin Sharp confirmed: “Josh will hopefully play the week after next against Derbyshire Seconds and hopefully be available for Scarborough. That is the plan.”

Tongue picked up 47 Championship wickets in his first season of senior cricket in 2017 and played all 14 matches in the competition.

He was also showing encouraging signs of adjusting to Division One cricket in the early part of this season and had taken nine wickets in the home match with Essex shortly before the setback.

His availability for the final phase of the season would be a welcome boost especially after the long term loss of skipper Joe Leach with a stress fracture of the back.