James Anderson could make a welcome return from injury next week.
The “Burnley Express” suffered a tear in his groin in action for Lancashire in the Roses match against Yorkshire last month, making him a doubt for England’s first Test match of the summer against South Africa, which begins on July 6th.
But the 34-year-old could return for the Red Rose in next week’s Specsavers County Championship clash with Hampshire.
Anderson was expected to be out with the groin problem for between four to six weeks, with the Lord’s Test against the Proteas six weeks away at the time.
The paceman has missed four of England’s last 10 Test matches after picking up a shoulder injury last summer, which saw him sit out the winter tour to Bangladesh.
But he could now get some much-needed match practice under his belt last week, after a quick recovery – indeed, he looked sharp in practice during the intervals in Lancashire’s County Championship match with Middlesex in Southport over the weekend.
Anderson had targeted a comeback for Lancashire before the game at Lord’s, looking at the County Championship match against Warwickshire at Edgbaston, which starts on June 26th, and while the final decision will be with England – with Anderson centrally contracted – he has been pencilled in for the Hampshire game, which starts next week.