Durham will decide over the next few days whether to call a halt in their attempts to resurrect the career of seamer Mark Davies.
They hope to have Steve Harmison, Liam Plunkett and Davies fit and firing for a renewed assault on the County Championship next season after letting this year’s title slip away. But Davies is awaiting the results of a scan which could end his career at the age of 31, although he still has a year left on his contract.
The Teessider, whose early career was interrupted by collapsed lungs, suffered a stress fracture of the foot in pre-season, and after playing some second team cricket in mid-season the problem flared up again.
It is the latest in a series of ailments which have wrecked a career which took him to the verge of the England team. He was called into the Test squad as cover for injuries in 2009.
At the start of this season no county bowler had taken more than 100 first-class wickets at a lower average than Davies’ 22.63. But he has played only 15 matches in the last three years.
“We’ll take medical advice,” said coach Geoff Cook. “He’s got an amazing strike-rate but over the last three or four years his contributions have been less and less.”
Nothing was seen of Harmison after he injured an ankle in the pre-match kick-about when Sri Lanka A visited at the end of July.
Cook said: “Stephen still has two years on his contract and we still want him to play. He has to get himself fit over a sustained period and will be involved in a winter training regime. He did make some useful contributions between his injuries and with him in the team bowling well we are a much better side.”
Plunkett played only the first two Championship matches before pulling a thigh muscle. He returned in the Twenty20 Cup but lack of accuracy drained his confidence.
“He’s had a couple of frustrating years,” said Cook. “But he’s feeling happier about his future now that he has signed a new two-year contract and he will work on re-modelling his technique during the winter.
“Liam might go away to play some cricket later on, but not until he has done the rehabilitation work on his action. He’ll be working with Alan Walker and Neil Killeen.”