Fitness of key players ahead of season April 5, 2006

Vaughan won't be rushed back

Cricinfo staff

Michael Vaughan is struggling to be fit for Yorkshire's opening Championship game © Getty Images
Michael Vaughan is making a slow recovery from the knee injury, which forced him out of the current tour of India, according to the Yorkshire physiotherapist Scott McAllister.

Vaughan has been undergoing an intensive programme of rehabilitation since returning from India to undergo further treatment on a right knee problem which was operated on last December. But hopes that he would be able to play in Yorkshire's opening County Championship match, against Nottinghamshire on April 19, are now fading.

"The only time schedule is how Michael's knee responds, not the playing schedule," McAllister told the Yorkshire Post. "We're not going to push him and neither are England. It's vital that he gets the knee right to ensure that when he does come back, he does so with confidence.

"The encouraging thing is that Michael is progressing, step by step, slowly but surely. The signs are good, but at the same time we're not getting over-excited about the situation."

There is also positive news on Simon Jones, who is hopeful of starting the season with Glamorgan, after he also returned from India after injuring his knee ahead of the first Test.

"The knee is coming on well," he said, "I have started bowling off a couple of yards and I'm sprinting up to full pace. I want to play for Glamorgan in the first couple of games and prove my fitness, and see where it takes me."

However, the fitness of Ashley Giles is still causing major concern as he has yet to start bowling since hip surgery in December. Giles flew home from Pakistan, missing the third Test at Lahore, and withdrew from the tour of India.

His target had been to start the season with Warwickshire, but his recovery has been slow and Giles has admitted that the injury could be career threatening. Last week he told The Mail on Sunday: "If the rehab doesn't succeed, the alternatives are obvious. The specialist thought the hip would have done most of its healing after three months but that hasn't happened."