Joe Root could be back in the nets by the end of this week after breaking his right thumb in eight places on England duty last month.
Yorkshire announced yesterday that their 23-year-old batsman had signed a two-year contract extension with the club until December 2016, just hours before he was due to get an update on the injury from his specialist.
He went straight from Yorkshire’s pre-season media day at Headingley to have an x-ray.
And before he went he said: “I’m going for an x-ray and I’ll get some more news then. If it’s good news, hopefully I’ll be back hitting some cricket balls by the end of the week and back playing by the end month. All being well, that’s the plan.”
Amazingly, Root suffered the break midway through the innings in which he brought up his maiden one-day international hundred against the West Indies at Antigua on March 5.
Just over a fortnight ago, he revealed that he was hopeful of a return to the field for Yorkshire in their LV= County Championship match against Middlesex at Lord’s on April 27.
Yesterday he admitted that was still the plan, although he did admit: “That’s everything going swimmingly.”
Since scoring 63 on debut for Yorkshire against Essex in a Pro40 match in September 2009, Root has gone on to play all forms of international cricket, earn an England central contract and become the poster boy of Yorkshire cricket.
He said of the new contract: “I’m really excited about that. It’s obviously a great club and I love playing with the lads.
“It’s a good atmosphere in the changing room and we’ve got a really good side at the minute.
“Hopefully we can come away with some silverware this summer and take that forward into the rest of that stint I’m here at the club.”
Ahead of today’s non-first-class three-day friendly against Northamptonshire at Wantage Road, Yorkshire director of cricket Martyn Moxon admitted his delight at the Root deal.
He said: “His desire to be the best that he can is a perfect example to our young players that if you work hard on your skills and have total commitment, you can achieve almost anything in your profession.”