Batsman Tom Fell is “desperate” to earn a recall to the Worcestershire first-team squad after getting the all clear from testicular cancer, says director of cricket Steve Rhodes.
Fell, 22, was diagnosed at the end of last summer and missed the start of this season after undergoing chemotherapy treatment.
He has now returned to action and is playing in Worcestershire’s 2nd XI.
“We very much want him back,” Rhodes told BBC Hereford and Worcester.
Fell was the youngest batsman in the country to pass 1,000 runs in 2015 as he hit three centuries and averaged 41.69, despite Worcestershire’s relegation from Division One.
“He’s a quality cricketer and one of our best bats,” Rhodes added. “He’s recovered from a serious illness and we’re all delighted to have him back playing.
“I spoke to him the other day and he’s desperate to get back into the first team, so he’ll be pushing and making sure everyone else is on their toes.”
Seconds players pushing the Firsts
Fell is not the only player in the Second XI trying to nudge Rhodes for a crack at first-team cricket.
Rhodes’ son George made his debut in Worcestershire’s One-Day Cup win at Yorkshire, with the all-rounder taking 2-34 from 10 overs.
Batsman Alex Hepburn was also in the squad for that game, after playing two matches in the competition last season.
Opening batsman Ollie Westbury and middle-order player Zen Malik have also struck second-team hundreds and Rhodes is delighted with the progress they are making.
“Our academy is showing there’s another crop coming through,” Rhodes said.
“George gets it tough because you don’t want to be seen to be giving your son favouritism, but he’s very professional and I was very pleased to see him start so well.”
Worcestershire continue their One-Day Cup campaign against Leicestershire at New Road on Wednesday.