Jamie Overton admitted he is “unlikely” to be fit enough to be in contention for the Ashes this summer as he continues to recover from a back stress fracture.
The 28-year-old was in Dubai playing in the inaugural ILT20 competition in January when he was forced to return home and a scan revealed the nature of the injury.
Having received a maiden England call-up in 2022 after swapping home county Somerset for a move to Surrey, Overton was named in the squad for the tour of Pakistan in December.
“I had some sort of niggly stuff all winter, but it probably started to get worse in Dubai when I was out in the ILT20,” Overton told the PA news agency.
“But it’s hard to say when I definitely got it because I’ve had a similar sort of pain all winter.
“But it definitely got worse when I was out there in Dubai, I don’t know if the cold or having a few weeks off over Christmas made a difference.
“It was actually really cold out in Dubai when we got there, so maybe a bit of cold, a bit of going from bowling lots of overs in four-day cricket to Test cricket to going high intensity, low overs in T20 probably didn’t really help – but I don’t know so I couldn’t really say when I got it.
“But that’s when I had my scan, came home and started to have some rest.”
He added: “I’d like to be ready for the Ashes, but I think it’s probably unlikely.
“But I’ll just see how I get on. You can’t really look too far ahead, you’ve just got to stay in the process of where you are at the moment and hopefully if anything comes along then it’s a bonus and if it doesn’t then it’s just the way it’s meant to be.”
Overton has been targeting the Vitality T20 blast as a possible return date but admitted a career as a fast bowler has taken its toll.
“It certainly does, I wouldn’t wish it on anyone! It is hard work,” he said.”
Overton added: “Recovery is going well. I had a scan about three weeks ago and it was positive progress, I’ve got another scan in a couple of weeks, then I can make sure that I can start bowling,” he said.
“So it’s going well but it’s just slow progress unfortunately, but it’s going nicely at the moment and I feel like I’m in a good place.”
“(I’m) taking it step by step, to be honest. I’m trying to be back for the Blast, that’s the plan.
“Maybe not bowling-wise, but batting-wise and being able to run around in the field I think that’s a viable option.
On his Test debut Overton scored a first-innings 97 to help guide England to victory over New Zealand at Headingley in the first series of the ‘Bazball’ era and he believes in himself as an all-rounder.
“I think as a county we want to win all three trophies. But for me I think it’s just getting back to where I was at the start of last year or the middle of last year bowling and batting-wise and contributing to team wins,” he said.
“That’s how I see myself – as an all-rounder, I like to contribute with the bat and the ball and also in the field.”