PLAYER-of-the-year Gareth Andrew could miss the first two months of Worcestershire’s season following knee surgery.
The former Somerset all-rounder faces being out of action until June, meaning he could miss up to seven LV= County Championship Division One matches.
Andrew, who took 52 wickets and scored 666 runs in the top-flight last season, struggled with the problem towards the end of the 2011 campaign and went under the knife last month.
It is a blow for the New Road side but officials are hoping the 28-year-old, who was ranked second in the country in the Professional Cricketers’ Association’s most valuable player list, will return ahead of schedule.
However, chief executive David Leatherdale is not expecting any recruitment as cover.
Leatherdale said: “Gareth had an operation in Dec-ember to clear the knee out and will miss the start of the season. The latest it will be is June but we are hoping that it will be sooner than that.
“It’s disappointing, but with the signing of seam bowler David Lucas and some of the youngsters, they will get their opportunity to play.”