Less than 24 hours after flying back from Derbyshire’s tour to Barbados with a broken jaw and little hope of playing in the first month of the season, Tony Palladino was having an operation and looking forward to being fit for the opening day.
The 28-year-old fast bowler, Derbyshire’s leading wicket-taker in the County Championship last season, was driven from Manchester straight to London to see a specialist and the decision was taken to use a plate and screws to fix his jaw.
He has been told he can start running in three days and can bowl again in a week. Had the jaw been wired, he would have been out and eating through a straw for six weeks.
“That’s great news for us and for Tony because he has a chance of being ready for the start of the season now,” said Derbyshire head coach Karl Krikken.
“We all felt really sorry for him when he was injured because he had only just got back bowling after his hernia operation but this has given us all a lift.”
Krikken added that he had already been offered bowlers on loan as news of the injury filtered through but said he did not seriously consider bringing someone in as cover even if Palladino had been out for the first month of the season, which starts on April 5.
“We never got that far down the road because we have faith in the bowlers we have at the club,” Krikken added.
“Tim Groenewald is still the furthest away but Mark Turner is getting stronger and Mark Footitt is bowling really well. Add those couple of names to Jon Clare and Ross Whiteley and you have a seam attack.”
For now, though, the Derbyshire bowling is badly underpowered and another patchy display with the ball sent them to a 60-run defeat by Yorkshire in their Barbados Twenty20 Cup quarter-final at Kensington Oval in Bridgetown.
Both counties will play semi-finals on Thursday – Yorkshire in the Cup and Derbyshire in the Plate.