Luke Wright is hoping to make his long-awaited return to action this week just in time for a crucial stage of Sussex’s season.
The county’s newly appointed captain hasn’t played since suffering a slipped disc in a pre-season game against Leeds Bradford MCCU.
The 31-year-old also had minor wrist surgery during his enforced absence but he is on course to return either in this Saturday’s Specsavers County Championship game against Derbyshire or next Wednesday’s first home game in the NatWest T20 Blast against Somerset, both at Hove.
Wright said: “Last week I started batting in the nets for the first time and I suffered no reaction which is good news.
“I’ve been running for a couple of weeks with no problems so hopefully I can play again very soon. I feel good but it’s a step by step process. I don’t want to rush things. I had a slipped disc before the Leeds-Bradford game and in hindsight should have rested then because I suffered another during it so I’m not going to play until I’m 100%.”
The two months he will have been out are Wright’s longest period on the sidelines since he underwent knee surgery in 2011 and admits it’s been massively frustrating.
“Apart from when I had the knee op this has been the most cricket I’ve missed and it’s been one of the most frustrating times of my career.
“Obviously being the new captain I was desperate to get out there at the start of the season so it’s been tough, although I have to say Ben Brown’s done a fantastic job in my absence in the Championship and then last Friday Ross Taylor came in and led us to a great victory in the T20.”
Victory at Bristol was Sussex’s first of the season and Wright hopes it signals the start of a good run for his side. It came after a team containing seven home-produced players defied Worcestershire at New Road to escape with a draw in the Specsavers County Championship.
Wright said: “I went up to New Road and I think a lot of sides would have folded in the situation we found ourselves in. We showed a lot of guts and I think we took a lot of momentum out of that game into Bristol in the T20, which we won.
“It’s a very big month coming up. We’ve got a busy period of one-day cricket coming up but first it would be great to go into it with our first Championship win. We knew the second division would be tough and it’s been even more difficult this season with a lot of flat wickets about. That’s one thing about being out – it’s saved me quite a few long days in the field!”
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