Worcestershire paceman Josh Tongue is on target to make his first team comeback as scheduled in the Specsavers County Championship match with Yorkshire at Scarborough next month.
Tongue had his first gentle four over bowl in the Blackfinch New Road nets on Friday since suffering a stress reaction to a metatarsal in his left foot last month.
Now he will build up his bowling programme with the aim of playing some second team cricket ahead of the game with the Tykes which begins on August 19.
The 20-year-old, who picked up 47 Championship wickets in his debut season of first team cricket in 2017, had always been earmarked to be available for the final six Championship games starting with the trip to Scarborough and is on schedule to achieve that objective.
Worcestershire CCC Head of Sports Science and Medicine, Ben Davies, said: “It’s good news about Josh. He is making a really good recovery now.
“He did a bit of bowling today (Friday). He bowled 24 balls off a few paces and had no reaction and we’ll just keep building him up slowly now.
“It’s nice for the players. When they get the ball back in their hand, they feel as if they are going to play again and we are just looking at building his bowling work-load up now.
“He will be fit for the game at Scarborough against Yorkshire. He will play some second team cricket before that just to build up and he is well on target to be fit for the Yorkshire game.
“We originally thought he would be fit for the last six Championship games and we stand by that really. I think he will be fit for the last six matches.”
Tongue had turned in an impressive performance in the home Championship match with Essex but then suffered his setback.
Davies said: “He finished the Essex match where he had a really good game performance-wise and had a stress reaction in his left fifth metatarsal.
“We tried to put him through a bit of a fitness test for the game at Trent Bridge but he wasn’t quite right, it was too sore, so we thought we probably needed to get a scan.
“When we scanned, we found a stress reaction through the bone which has now settled quite nicely.
“It could have been worse, it could have been a fracture which would have finished his season but we got hold of it before it became a fracture.
“We just had to give it the right time to settle down and then build the (bowling) load for Yorkshire.”