Warwickshire’s England one-day international all-rounder Chris Woakes will step up his rehabilitation from an ankle ligament injury in Liverpool this week.
Woakes will travel with Warwickshire’s squad to Aigburth where he will train and have intensive treatment while his team-mates are facing defending county champions Lancashire.
It is just four weeks since Woakes badly damaged his right ankle in a freak accident when he caught his spikes in the turf while he was fielding in a pre-season match in Barbados.
The initial gloomy predictions were that Woakes had broken the ankle and he would be out of action for at least three months. But he has suffered only ligament damage and the period on the sidelines was adjusted downwards to between six and eight weeks.
Woakes is reluctant to say when he might be playing again but he has made rapid progress in the past week and has already started jogging and having throw-downs.
“I’ve had a really good week,” Woakes said. “Just a week ago I was still wearing a protective boot but now I’m able to do some light jogging and I’ve also had a few throw-downs.
“I’m not setting a specific target date to play again because you never know how your rehab is going to go. But there has been a massive improvement in the last seven days.
“I’m going up to Liverpool to get some regular treatment from the physio and to do some work while everyone is up there.”
The ankle injury was the third setback suffered by Woakes in less than a year as sore shins forced him to miss part of last season and he also had to return home from England’s one-day series in India last autumn with a thigh strain.
“The ankle was a freak injury,” Woakes said. “When it happened I feared the worst because I heard a crack and pop.
“But when I had the ankle scanned when I got home the consultant was much more positive. He said that if I had an operation I would be out for 12 weeks, but if I left it to heal naturally then there was a good chance that I would be playing again within six to eight weeks.”