Steve Rhodes says Worcestershire's 2017 overseas signing John Hastings is currently on target to be available for the start of the season.

The Australian paceman suffered a patella tendon injury at the back end of last year whilst playing for Victoria.

But initial fears that all-rounder Hastings might not be fit until mid season after undergoing surgery have gradually been allayed.

It is heartening news for Worcestershire Director of Cricket Rhodes who revealed the current plan is for Hastings to complete his rehab at New Road.

Rhodes said: "Just that at the moment the plan is to try and get John here early rather than late and finish off the later stages of his rehab with our medical team.

"It could be the back end of March that he gets with us.

"We are just waiting for some of the normal protocol – a No Objection Certificate (from Cricket Australia) and a visa application.

"We are just waiting for those to get through and it's all optimistic. John is back to bowling now and I think he is getting close to bowling off a long run-up.

"He is getting there and at the moment we are very pleased with the way he is progressing."

Rhodes added: "Is he on target to play in the first game? He is on target. We don't want to get too excited. He is definitely on target.

"If something went wrong in his rehab programme, then it might delay things but at the moment he is in on target.

"He is a determined character and more importantly the operation went extremely well. It was a very simple proceedure."

Worcestershire launch their Specsavers County Championship programme against Glamorgan at the SWALEC Stadium on April 14.