Fast-bowler Olly Stone is showing “a fantastic attitude” to the rehab programme drawn up by Warwickshire to get him back to fitness after a serious knee injury.

The Bears signed Stone from Northamptonshire in the autumn knowing the 23-year-old faces a lengthy path back to match-readiness after suffering a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament, with associated cartilage damage, last June.

It is a serious injury, with a usual recovery time of nine-to-12 months, but there is no reason why Stone’s recovery should not be full, enabling him to be part of the Edgbaston pace-attack for years to come.

Bears strength and conditioning coach Chris Armstrong and physio Gerhard Mostert have drawn up a detailed rehab programme for Stone, designed to get him ready as soon as possible. But patience will be a key factor, insists Armstrong.

The process must not be rushed – and the S&C coach has only the highest praise for how Stone has dealt with the frustrating situation.

“Olly has shown great dedication to his rehab,” Armstrong said. “He is showing a fantastic attitude – positive but knowing he has to be patient.

“When a player is out long-term injured you learn a lot about him as a person and I’ve got only the highest praise for Olly.

“We knew all along that it was a long-term injury which means he is unlikely to be fit for first-team cricket before June. But the club signed him because he has the potential to be a huge asset over a long period of time and, with his attitude and his recovery on track, there is no reason why that won’t be the case.

“He is stepping up his work gradually and we are working on his programme every week at Edgbaston and also closely with the guys at Aston Villa where he has been on the underwater treadmill at Bodymoor Heath. We are very grateful to Villa physio Alan Smith for his expertise and support.”

Bears captain Ian Bell believes everything he has seen from Stone, on the field for Northamptonshire and on his rehab programme at Edgbaston, has been impressive.

“Olly is a really talented cricketer who we signed as part of our long-term vision for the squad,” he said. “He is a very good bowler already but has loads of improvement in him.

“His attitude towards his rehab has been spot-on and he’s under no pressure at all from us to rush it. When he is over this injury he will be a huge asset to us for years to come.”

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