Worcestershire Director of Cricket Steve Rhodes is hopeful fit again all-rounder Gareth Andrew will be "in good shape" with his bowling programme for the county's pre-season tour of Abu Dhabi next month.

Andrew is working to a structure put together by the county's medical team and bowling coach Matt Mason after the complete healing of the lumbar pedicle fracture in his back.

The 31-year-old was only able to bowl in the opening four LV = County Championship matches of last season, in which he picked up 20 wickets, and after played purely as a batsman.

Rhodes said: "We've got a back to bowling programme for Gareth and he was up to at least 20 overs last week.

"He is getting there and bowling well. Nice to see him back bowling.

"Hopefully the programme the medical team and Matt Mason have put together will get him in good shape for when we leave for Abu Dhabi."

However, young county paceman Graeme Whiles, who had been earmarked to part of the squad for the Abu Dhabi trip, has been ruled out after a knee operation.

Rhodes said: "I'm very sad for Graeme because I wanted to take both of the University Scholarship players, Graeme and George Rhodes.

"But Graeme has had to have an arthroscopy and a bit of a tidy up in his knee. He is only just going to miss the trip. He will start to get back to bowling when we are away."

Worcestershire fly out to Abu Dhabi on March 4 and will play a series of T20, 50 over and two-day matches against Derbyshire, Middlesex and a United Arab Emirates X1 during the 10 day trip.