England Lions seamer James Harris could be missing for the first month of Glamorgan’s season while he attempts to shake off a niggling groin injury which has decimated his winter.
The 21-year-old, who had a double hernia operation in February, admitted he has probably paid the price for being over bowled after missing the two Lions tours this winter and Glamorgan’s pre-season. Harris has spearheaded the Glamorgan attack since he made his breakthrough at 16 in 2007.
“It has been a long and frustrating winter and I am distraught not to be fit for the start of the season,” said Harris, who is the youngest Glamorgan player to reach 200 first-class wickets.
“But if you look at the workload I had over the 18 months before the injury, it was pretty evident I would snap at some point.
“With two Glamorgan seasons and a Lions tour of the West Indies, we worked out I got through about 1,000 first-class overs.
“Anyone would struggle and I am still young. I have been over-bowled but I am as bad as anyone because I hate being on the sidelines. It will be something I will watch in future.”
Harris is out of the opening LV County Championship clash with Leicestershire and possibly the games against Derbyshire and Hampshire.
“I’m still not fully fit to start the season at the moment,” he admitted. “I’m going to miss the Leicester game. It’s very frustrating, but we’re hopeful we will catch it soon and I won’t miss too much.
“The groin is a hard thing to diagnose. The good thing is that I have had the hernia operation which is one benefit. It’s not by any means career threatening. It’s purely an over-use injury where it came about.”
Harris admits that in the long-term the injury could be a blessing in disguise, having bowled so many overs since making his debut five years ago.
“In my mind at the moment I’m distraught that I missed a winter’s worth of cricket and a Lions’ tour,” he said. “In the future I think it will be fantastic. It is probably just what I needed.
“My body was very sore come the end of last season. I think in years to come this injury might be a blessing to be honest.”
Glamorgan coach Matthew Mott insisted the county will take care of their prime asset. “He is going to be a big player for Glamorgan and also England and we don’t want to hurt him,” said the Australian.
“We could get him to push on through and mask the pain but we have to be mindful of his long-term future. He is the most senior bowler we have got and he is only 21 so we have to remember that.
“Two hundred first-class wickets at that age is a phenomenal effort. But if we try and push him we won’t be doing him, Glamorgan or England any good.
“It is about holding him back as well because he does not like missing games and we have to put a harness on him.”