TWO key members of the Worcestershire squad are making good progress following injury lay-offs during the winter.

Joe Leach and Matthew Waite are back bowling and looking to step up their fitness during the 10-day training camp in Desert Springs, that began at the start of the week (March 4). 

Leach underwent surgery in January on a knee injury and Waite has been recovering from a deep-seated groin injury suffered at the tail-end of last summer.

Head Coach, Alan Richardson is encouraged by their progress and believes they will now benefit from outdoor training in Spain.

"Joe is now back up and bowling, and so is Matthew. They haven’t done as much as the other guys but that’s fine," said Richardson.

"There is now an element of we need to get them up to speed fitness wise in terms of seeing how they continually react to the bowling work we give them.

"They are going to have to be up to a certain standard to make sure they are effective in Championship cricket and also, within that, give them a chance to be fit enough to perform as well.

"Desert Springs will be a good opportunity to get them up and running and I’m always a fan of guys bowling outside.

"The fact they haven’t bowled much indoors is not the end of the world for me.

"We arrive in Desert Springs on March 4, our first Championship game is on April 5. They will have a good month and hopefully, weather permitting, to give themselves a real chance.

"We will see where we go. All those players want to be in the first game of the season, and I totally understand that, but it’s also a long season as well.

"What is really important is we give them an opportunity to be a really effective player for us for the full season.

"What I would say is, it is very promising how they are travelling and coming along at the moment."

Worcestershire begin their 2024 County Championship campaign at Edgbaston against rivals Warwickshire.