Sean Ervine will step up his rehabilitation this week as he targets a late impact on Hampshire’s season.
The popular all-rounder has now been sidelined for six weeks with the fractured finger he suffered while batting in the Championship loss to Somerset.
This week I will start to hit a few balls again. It’s obviously nothing major but it’s about getting the feel of hitting the ball againSean Ervine
Although he is not yet available for selection and will miss today’s home clash with Essex in the Royal London One-Day Cup (2pm), there is an outside chance he may yet be in the frame for the club’s Natwest T20 Blast quarter-final at Worcestershire on August 14.
He is hoping to get the green light from the surgeon and a specialist next week, but it seems doubtful that he will be thrown straight back into the firing line at New Road with a place at finals day up for grabs.
But Ervine will get back into the nets this week to give himself a kick-start in his comeback.
He said: ‘It’s going pretty well.
‘I see the surgeon on August 10 and a specialist on August 13, which is the day before the quarter-final.
‘So this week I will start to hit a few balls again. It’s obviously nothing major but it’s about getting the feel of hitting the ball again.
‘If I do get the all-clear, at least I won’t be starting from square one and I can progress.
‘I don’t want to put pressure on the injury to make that quarter-final.
‘It’s probably unlikely, to be honest.
‘I might get the all-clear but whether I would have had enough to prepare myself to go straight into a big game, I’m not so sure.
‘But I’m hoping to have at least some sort of impact towards the end of the season.
‘I’m itching to get back.’
Hampshire have struggled all season for results and their hopes were dealt a major blow when the 32-year-old was ruled out.
While they have improved in limited overs cricket, their Championship problems have continued in his absence.
But the Zimbabwean believes theirwhite-ball fortunes could yet give them some impetus for the last few weeks of the campaign.
He said: ‘The guys have been struggling in the four-day stuff but it’s probably just a lack of confidence and a lack of belief, which can happen.
‘It’s like the t20 – if you get that momentum, you can cruise through games and don’t need that out-and-out performance to get over the line.
‘When everyone is playing with that freedom and confidence, it is massive.
‘But it works the same way if you start to lose games.
‘You can almost try extra-hard and that’s not the best way to go about it.
‘So we’re hoping the 50-over stuff and the fact we are in the quarter-finals of the t20 can filter through to the four-day stuff.
‘It’s a crazy old game but I remember a few years ago when Imran Tahir came into the side and we won something like four out of the last six games – it was something special.
‘We were well back but we managed to stay up.
‘That is a scenario we have to try to repeat.
‘We’re not really out of it just yet.
‘Obviously, it’s a tall order to try to get up there with five games left.
‘But it’s definitely not impossible.
‘You need a couple of results to go your way and we need to dig deep but we know we can do it.’