Ben Cox is set to return to wicket-keeping practice early in the New Year after continuing to make good progress following his shoulder operation.

Cox has already earned praise from Worcestershire CCC first team physio Ben Davies for being ahead of schedule after undergoing surgery in mid October with the help of his excellent work ethic.

He has started batting in the nets at Malvern College and will step up his work behind the stumps when the players return after the two week festive break.

Davies said: "Ben is joining in with the group as normal, doing everything. He is in such a good position.

"He is doing everything, he is batting now up at Malvern. We will probably re-introduce him to keeping in January.

"Ben will probably do some mat work at first to try and graduate him back into keeping, diving and get some confidence back into that shoulder basically."

Cox will be looking to build on last season's excellent form with the gloves and the bat in finishing as second highest scorer behind Tom Fell in the County Championship.

He had originally been scheduled to play grade cricket in Adelaide after making good progress following his shoulder op but is now remaining with Worcestershire this winter.