JOE Leach admits he has felt like “a kid in a toy store” after returning to full training at Blackfinch New Road following a lengthy injury lay-off.

The Worcestershire captain has been going through his paces since the squad reported back in mid-November for their winter programme of strengthening and conditioning work up until the festive season.

It was a frustrating few months for Leach who was sidelined from early June with a stress fracture of the back and missed out on the County’s Vitality Blast triumph.

The 28-year-old had been his side’s talisman with the ball with 193 County Championship wickets during the previous three seasons.

He said: “I’m in full training. I had a scan the week before we came back to full training and it shows everything is going in the right direction.

“Back fully fit at the right time for Dewsy (strengthening and conditioning coach Ross Dewar) to hammer us for a few weeks going into Christmas!

“I’m like a kid in a toy store at the moment. I’m absolutely loving coming in every day and having a full part in things after a frustrating three or four months.

“To miss the semi-final (in the Royal London One-Day Cup) and then to watch the way the season progressed and missing out on it was pretty painful although naturally I was delighted for the lads and the club.

“But hopefully it is the best for the long run, the injury fully heals and I come back stronger and fitter next year.”

Leach admitted he had to find a way to cope with his time on the sidelines.

He said: “It took some adjustment. I did a little bit of radio work, I sat up here (in the dressing room area) a lot and probably got under people’s feet!

“It is a really fine line between being around and being a pain because you can’t have any direct impact on what is happening on the field and wanting to show my support and be around the group as well.

“I hope I managed to tread pretty carefully but it is the one thing (an injury) you don’t want.

"After having three or four good seasons it was frustrating but I suppose these things happen.”