Durham date isn’t looking on the cards for Willey

David Willey is still struggling with a back problem
David Willey is still struggling with a back problem
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David Willey is unlikely to be fit for Northamptonshire’s County Championship opener against Durham in just over a fortnight.

The all-rounder underwent another scan on his back injury yesterday (Wednesday) following the club’s return from their pre-season trip to Barbados .

The stated intention was for Willey to have upped his preparation in the Caribbean with a view to resume bowling at full tilt but that hasn’t happened, leaving head coach David Ripley with some serious concerns.

Ripley said: “We’re hoping that this latest scan will give David some positive news as it was obviously disappointing for him in Barbados.

“We wanted him to get closer to showing that he was nearing a return to playing his full role but it didn’t go as well as both we and he hoped.

“Ideally the scan will give some good news that will make his mind that bit clearer.

“Once that’s the case, I think he’ll be up and running quite quickly because of the way he is with his training.”

As for when Willey will be available for selection, Ripley is not writing down any fixed dates.

He added: “Durham is unlikely at this stage as even if the scan was clear there would be the issue of match fitness.

“It would be a gamble to throw him straight in with not much bowling behind him – we’ve got some good back-up in the squad – and that could mean we’re looking a bit further down for when he can get back into it.”