Gareth Andrew has undertaken his first spell of bowling since recovering fully from the fractured lumbar pedicle in his back.

The Worcestershire all-rounder went through his paces on Monday in the nets at Malvern College which is the county's regular base during the winter months.

Andrew was side-lined for the tail-end of the 2013 season and was then unable to bowl after the first four LV = County Championship games of last season in which he impressed and picked up 20 wickets.

But he is hoping his injury concerns are now completely behind him and he has taken the first small steps to building up his bowling in readiness for the pre-season tour of Abu Dhabi in early March.

Worcestershire bowling coach and assistant coach Matt Mason said: "It's fantastic for Gareth. He rolled his arm over for the first time on Monday, properly if you like.

"He bowled off a run-up, at Malvern College, and he looked terrific as well.

"He has been through a really tough time and most of us bowlers know what it is like to deal with longer term injuries.

"But he has stayed really positive and worked really hard.

"We are all hopeful if we manage him well going forward that we will get a lot of cricket out of him this year."

Mason was able to emphasise with Andrew after his own shoulder problems towards the end of his career at New Road which finally came to an end in 2011. 

But he has praised Andrew's determination to put the dark days behind him and showed his capabilities.

Mason said: "It is probably the toughest thing you have to deal with as a cricketer, being injured.

"I had my darkest days when I was injured, more so than when you perform badly.

"It is a tough thing because you question straight away 'how long am I out for, when am I going to be back, will I get back?' – all these things.

"People talk, you hear stories like 'he's always injured' and they get to you after a while but they also make you pretty resilient and determined.

"In Gareth's case, that is what happened. He has still got a lot to prove so I think that is what has driven him on."

Mason added: "The toughest thing is when you are injured during the season and games are on and you are saying farewell to the lads as they go off on the coach and you have to listen to the game on the radio.

"That can be tough because you want to be out there.

"But Gazza has used that as motivation to get fit, to get strong, and he's in the hands of a great medical team so he is doing well."