Worcestershire all-rounder Gareth Andrew has been given the all-clear after being prevented from bowling for the majority of last season with a back problem.

The 30-year-old got the green light after scans showed that the fracture in his lumbar pedicle had completely healed.

Now Andrew is to undergo a "back to bowling" programme with the aim of being ready to bowl in a match situation during the county's pre-season tour of Abu Dhabi in early March.

The former Somerset player took the new ball for the opening four games of last season in the LV = County Championship and picked up 20 wickets including a career best 5-40 against Glamorgan at the Swalec Stadium.

But after that he was only able to play any cricket as a batsman including a NatWest T20 Blast match against Durham when some late hitting helped his side to victory at New Road.

Worcestershire Director of Cricket Steve Rhodes said: "It is really good news about Gareth in the sense that his injury and scan results have shown an all-clear now.

"We also got a second opinion and that also was all clear.

"It is basically all stations go for him to now get a back to bowling programme – which he has started – to culminate in being ready for matches out in Abu Dhabi.

"He has two weeks where he is doing a lot of strengthening and then he is into his bowling like the rest of the lads.

"Fingers crossed, if all goes to plan, he will be fit to bowl in that first game in Abu Dhabi should he be selected for that game.

"To have him fighting alongside the likes of Ed Barnard, and Joe Leach, for the all-rounder spot, that is tremendous with those sort of quality guys."