Yorkshire’s most experienced batsman, Anthony McGrath, is doubtful for the club’s opening County Championship match against Worcestershire at New Road on April 8.
The 35-year-old former captain has developed a nerve problem in his right leg, just when he seemed to be recovering well from an operation to repair a torn cartilage in his left knee.
McGrath developed the problem during Yorkshire’s tour to Barbados, where he had begun batting practice following his operation and seemed well on course to start the season. He is now awaiting the results of a scan.
With Ajmal Shahzad having returned early from the World Cup with a hamstring injury, this is a third pre-season blow for Yorkshire.
All-rounder Richard Pyrah’s time in the West Indies was cut short by a freak injury when a ball rebounded off the frame of the nets and damaged his right shoulder.
After returning to form last season following his year of captaincy, McGrath’s experience could be vital in an otherwise youthful line-up following the departure of Jacques Rudolph.
The most likely alternative candidates for the No 3 slot would be Joe Root or Gary Ballance, who did their chances no harm in Barbados. Root furthered his claims this week with an innings of 46 against Leeds-Bradford University at Headingley.
Summing up the tour, coach Martyn Moxon said: “The results were a bit of a mixed bag, but that isn’t important at this stage. The main thing was to get outdoor practice and outdoor matchplay.
“We had a relatively inexperienced squad with the various England players missing, but we played extremely well to beat Hampshire in a Twenty20 match.”
Moxon was heartened by the performances of all-rounder Lee Hodgson and was pleased with the work of new signing Ryan Sidebottom.
“Ryan looked very sharp. He showed all his experience and was very good with the other bowlers as well, which is important. Ryan was very willing to share information and ideas and he can be a big asset to us in a number of ways.”
He also hopes that Hodgson, a 24-year-old Teessider, can emerge as a rival to Pyrah after failing so far to fulfil his potential. In the final of the Twenty20 competition in Barbados, in which Yorkshire lost to Warwickshire, he hit 35 off 21 balls and took two wickets.
Moxon added: “Lee is a really good cricketer but we haven’t seen the best of him yet. We’ve seen flashes of what he’s capable of in the second team.”