Stuart Broad is confident he will be fit to return for England before the start of the World Cup on February 19 after revealing he is ahead of schedule in his recovery from a stomach injury.
Broad has been sidelined for the past eight weeks after suffering the injury while bowling in the second Ashes Test in Adelaide.
The 24-year-old missed England’s Ashes success after he was forced to return home before Christmas but, after returning to Australia to step up his recovery last week, the right-armer is hopeful he will be fit to return in England’s first World Cup warm-up game against Canada in Dhaka on February 16.
“My recovery is going very well, I’m probably a little bit ahead of schedule,” he said.
“I’ve probably bowled about 50-60 per cent yesterday and I’ve pulled up fine this morning.
“Hopefully by the end of this Australian tour I will have come off near to a full run-up. My aim is to try and play the first warm-up game of the World Cup which is still two-and-a-half to three weeks away.
“I’m hopeful for that.”
Broad’s optimistic appraisal of his recovery is a rare bit of good news on the injury front for England’s bowlers over the past fortnight, as the squad in Australia for the one-day series has been reduced to the bare bones.
After Graeme Swann (back) and Tim Bresnan (calf) flew home early last week England’s already-depleted attack was weakened further following injuries to Ajmal Shahzad and Chris Tremlett.
Shahzad injured his hamstring during the 51-run defeat in Brisbane, which saw Australia take an unassailable 4-1 lead in the ODI series with two games to play, while Tremlett failed to take his place due to a slight side strain.
Both players are set to undergo scans with Shahzad the more pressing case because he was, unlike Tremlett, selected in the 15-man World Cup squad.
England have responded by calling up Liam Plunkett from the England Lions tour of the West Indies, although the Durham paceman will not arrive in time for Wednesday’s penultimate match of the series in Sydney on Wednesday.
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