First team coach Mark Robinson believes having a fit-again Henry Brookes will be like welcoming a new signing for Warwickshire next season.

Brookes missed almost all the 2021 campaign due to a thigh injury but his recovery from surgery is on track. The 22-year-old aims to be back in contention for the start of next season, as do fellow seamers Olly Hannon-Dalby and Ryan Sidebottom who were both also troubled by injury this year.

If all are fit, then come April the Bears will have an enviable array of seam options from which to select.

“Henry has started batting and bowling in the nets and hopefully he will be ready to go in April,” Robinson said. “He has missed a year, which is always tough for a young player, so he has had quite a lot of good reflection time.

“We all know what potential Henry has and hopefully he will be back fit and firing to add to our competition for a first team place next season. A refocused, re-energised Henry Brookes will be like having a new signing.

Mark Robinson

“Olly Hannon-Dalby is also bowling again in the indoor centre after his foot injury. He looks in a good place and Ryan Sidebottom is doing well and working hard on his bowling and batting, so hopefully we will have a lot of guys completing for places.”

England paceman Olly Stone is also in rehab after long-term injury but, while his recovery is going to schedule, the Bears do not expect him to play for them early next season.

“With Olly we work in partnership with England,” Robinson said. “We have got a good relationship with their staff and all of us want to get Olly up to speed as quickly as possible.

“Things are going well with his rehab but we are not expecting him to play in the first part of the championship season. The goal for Olly is that when he comes back, it’s for good.”

Meanwhile, Robinson has set another goal for all Warwickshire’s bowlers: get your batting as good as it can be. The value of lower order runs was abundantly clear in several championship matches last season and the days of rabbits at the bottom of the order must be over, insists the coach.

“We have got no number 11s at this club, just bowling all-rounders,” he said. “So we are getting some good work into our lower-order batters to prioritise them a little but up to Christmas before the specialist batters take precedence as we build up to the season.”

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