Worcestershire: Gareth Andrew's return like new signing - Rhodes

Worcestershire fast bowler Gareth Andrew
Fast bowler Gareth Andrew has taken 185 first-class wickets for Worcestershire since making his debut in 2008

Worcestershire director of cricket Steve Rhodes says that having a fully-fit Gareth Andrew operating in 2015 will be "like having a new signing".

The ex-Somerset all-rounder, 31, has shown up well in pre-season training after missing most of last summer following a fractured bone in his back.

And Rhodes is keen for him to recapture last summer's early season form.

"He bowled beautifully for the first four games, taking 20 wickets," Rhodes told BBC Hereford & Worcester.

"If he'd carried on in that sort of form, there's no telling where he'd have ended up.

"But he's fit, showing up well and having him out there bowling again it will be like having a new signing for us."

Gareth Andrew's first-class form at New Road
2003-05 (Somerset) 11 First-class games, 28 wkts, 163 runs at 12.532011 - 16 Championship games, 52 wkts, 666 runs at 24.66
2008 - 12 Championship games, 27 wkts, 199 runs at 16.58 2012 - 9 Championship games, 19 wkts, 161 runs at 11.50
2009 - 9 Championship games, 23 wkts, 391 runs at 35.54 2013 - 10 Championship games, 21 wkts, 287 runs runs at 20.58
2010 - 9 Championship games, 23 wkts, 425 runs at 32.692014 - 4 Championship games, 20 wkts, 108 runs at 21.60

Andrew, who has been troubled by his back problem for the past year and a half, has had more than his fair share of injuries since arriving at New Road in 2008.

In his seven seasons with Worcestershire, he has managed only one full Championship campaign in 2011, when he helped the county stay in the top flight, the only time they have managed that feat in four attempts.

Worcestershire were promoted back to Division One for the fifth time in 12 seasons in 2014 and, having re-signed Pakistan spinner Saeed Ajmal, their chances of staying up again, as in 2011, look to have improved.

After returning to indoor training following the Christmas break, Worcestershire's players are concentrating on fitness work before heading off on a 10-day pre-season trip to Abu Dhabi next week.

Worcestershire's season back in Division One begins with a visit from county champions Yorkshire to New Road, starting on Sunday 12 April.

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