Worcestershire all-rounder Gareth Andrew has set his sights on putting two years of injury frustration behind him after flying out today with the squad for their pre-season trip to Abu Dhabi.
Andrew is determined to stay fit for the 2014 campaign after recovering from the back injury which forced him to miss the finale to last summer’s campaign.
The 30-year-old player showed his quality throughout 2011 when finishing runners-up in the Professional Cricketers’ Association MVP rankings for the most valuable county player and was linked with a possible England call-up.
Andrew said: “In 2011 I had a decent year but I've been struggling with a few injuries. It's been an on-off couple of years for me.
“But I hope to hit the ground running again this year and stay in the team and stay fit. It has been a frustrating time.
“Staying fit is a big goal of mine. We all have to be realistic in terms of how many games can we play in a season if you play in all formats.
“But my goal is to play the whole of the season this year.” Andrew will have a key role to play with bat and ball and admits he is in a positive frame of mind after overcoming the back setback as he prepared to fly out from Heathrow with the remainder of the county’s players and Director of Cricket Steve Rhodes.
He said: “Is the back problem cured? Yes. I've had four months off to settle down the stressed area and I've had a couple of injections here and there have helped me get through that.
“It's been a bit of a dark period over the past couple of months but I'm out the other side now and looking forward to just getting the season started.
“I'll be fit for the season and raring to go and the pre-season trip to Abu Dhabi will be a good time to ease into things and we've got a lot of pre-season games after that.”