Worcestershire have suffered a blow in the build-up to the 2012 season with the news that all-rounder Gareth Andrew is likely to be out of action until the end of May.
The former Somerset player struggled with a knee problem towards the end of last season and was initially advised that he would not require surgery.
But Andrew had exploratory operation before Christmas which revealed more extensive damage than was first feared and he now has his knee in a brace.
Andrew was a contributor to Worcestershire’s Division One survival last season as he scored 666 runs and took 52 first-class wickets. He also weighed in with 257 runs and 19 wickets in the Friends Life t20.
The arrival of experienced left-arm seamer David Lucas from Northamptonshire, however, should help to soften the blow of Andrew’s early-season absence.
Worcestershire also have Jack Shantry, who had limited opportunities last summer, in reserve along with academy product Nick Harrison who impressed when he was blooded in the Clydesdale Bank 40 towards the end of last season.
Meanwhile Worcestershire have submitted revised planning permission for a hotel and conference centre on the Severn Bar side of their New Road ground.
The plans, submitted in partnership with the Premier Inns hotel chain, will now be considered by Worcester City Council’s planners.