Ian Saxelby’s hopes of a return to action with Gloucestershire in 2011 have received a major boost.
The 21-year-old seamer underwent surgery in the early part of the summer after twice dislocating his right shoulder and missed the whole of last season.
He first suffered the injury getting out of a swimming pool while away in South Africa with the England Performance Programme squad in January and repeated it during practice as the new campaign approached.
Now, however, Saxelby has been told by his surgeon that no further appointments are necessary. He is already doing some batting in the nets and hopes to start bowling again soon.
Gloucestershire director of cricket John Bracewell said: “The surgeon is astounded at the progress Ian has made. He has been a very good patient and hasn’t pushed himself too hard.
“He has started hitting balls in the nets and has been doing overarm swimming to get good rotation in his shoulder. We are reluctant to let him go abroad and play this winter because our sole objective is to get him fit and ready for the start of next season.
“But if he continues to progress quicker than expected we may feel the best thing is for him to go away and play some games.”
With Steve Kirby, Gemaal Hussain and Anthony Ireland having left Gloucestershire since the end of the season, and major doubts over James Franklin’s future with the club, Saxelby is a key figure in plans for next summer’s pace attack.