Nottinghamshire will look to Stuart Broad for a repeat of his 2010 Bear-baiting in his second and probably last County Championship appearance of the season against Warwickshire at Trent Bridge this week.
Broad took 11 wickets in the fixture between the counties at Edgbaston last summer, including eight for 52 to skittle Warwickshire in their second innings.
Graeme Swann also played in that game, and the Bears have struck unlucky again with both England bowlers available for this fixture.
It is a good job for Notts that they are, such are the injury problems that continue to afflict their title defence – although it’s the batting that has been the worst affected.
After Alex Hales suffered a broken jaw in the home draw against Yorkshire, Neil Edwards had his arm broken in the defeat by Sussex at Hove – a cruel blow for the Cornishman who was starting to show signs of establishing himself at the top of the order.
He is now facing a lengthy absence until at least the end of June and, with Samit Patel away this week on England Lions duty, captain Chris Read could find himself batting as high as number five against Warwickshire.
Paul Franks and Ali Brown have been recalled to replace Edwards and Patel, but coach Mick Newell is expected to use Franks in the lower middle order rather than experimenting again with him as an opener.
Instead, Mark Wagh is expected to open against his former county, like Broad aiming for a repeat of that 2010 Edgbaston game when he hit a superb century. Akhil Patel will join him, with Brown at three, Adam Voges at four, and either Read or Steven Mullaney at five – assuming the Lancastrian feels no ill effects from the jaw injury he sustained in Hove, after a fitness test with the second team.
That would leave Franks at seven, then Swann, Broad, Andre Adams and Charlie Shreck – both of whom have also been troubled by injuries in recent weeks. But they are now fit enough for Newell to give Luke Fletcher a well-earned breather, as the only man to have played every single match of the season so far.
There is still no place for Darren Pattinson, and to complete the Notts medical bulletin Andy Carter is still some way away from even a second team return, Graeme White will miss the start of the t20 tournament after breaking his finger in pre-season, young Scott Elstone has a suspected torn shoulder muscle, and Ben Phillips is battling on despite an ankle problem.
Given the circumstances, they are doing pretty well to be top of the table again – although they could still do with a parting gift from Broad and Swann.