Warwickshire's Chris Woakes predicts swift recovery

Chris Woakes

Warwickshire's England one-day all-rounder Chris Woakes hopes to be back from injury before the end of April.

The initial prognosis was that his damaged ankle ligaments would deprive the Bears of his services for between six and eight weeks.

"I need a lot of rest, ice and compression and to see the physio to keep it mobile," Woakes told BBC WM.

"I've got to see how it reacts to the treatment, hopefully it's not as long as we expected."

The 23-year-old picked up the injury during the county's T20 match against Yorkshire in Barbados.

"It was a freak accident really, I was just running around the boundary to collect a ball at third man and was about to slide, but I felt the studs get stuck and my whole body weight went over on my ankle," he said.

"It's one of those freak things that happen, and I've got to deal with it I suppose.

"I felt like I was starting to hit my straps with the ball and I was hitting the ball nicely with the bat, so it's come at a bad time. But it happens in sport and hopefully I'll come back stronger."

Warwickshire will also be without emerging pace bowler Ricky Gordon for the start of the season after a stress fracture was discovered in his leg.

Woakes's injury means that 6ft 8in-tall Irishman Boyd Rankin, who took 55 Championship wickets last season, knows the onus will fall on him.

"We're missing Chris for the first month or so," Rankin told BBC Sport. "And that puts a bit of added pressure on the likes of me and Rikki Clarke.

"But I'll be out to do what I did last year, to keep it simple, try and make the batsmen struggle with that bit of extra bounce and hope that the wickets will come."

Varun Chopra, the Bears' leading scorer last summer with 1,178 Championship runs, says it could be an opportunity for young all-rounder Keith Barker, who had a good end to last season.

"It's hard to replace someone of the calibre of Chris but we're a strong bowling unit now," said Chopra. "And we've got someone like Keith Barker. He's a similar type of cricketer, who's been coming on.

"You can't expect him to replace Chris just like that but he's a good cricketer and hopefully he can fill in with some of the wickets and runs we'll miss with Chris being out."

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