County news February 28, 2011

Onions given go-ahead to resume bowling

ESPNcricinfo staff

Graham Onions, the Durham and England pace bowler, who missed the whole of last season a serious back injury, is set to resume training soon after receiving positive news from his latest scans.

Onions first picked up the problem at the start of the Bangladesh tour last March and flew home early from the trip before being diagnosed with a stress fracture. However, it wasn't until towards the end of the 2010 season in early September that it was decided he needed surgery to save his career and the initial recovery period was around nine months.

However, just six months after the operation Onions has been given the go ahead to bowl again although he knows he can't rush his return. "Scans were really good and been given the green light to start bowling," he posted on Twitter. "This is a big step, can't wait to start bowling. Realise that I have to go slow to start."

Onions has played eight Tests for England and made an impressive start when he took 5 for 38 in his debut against West Indies, at Lord's, in 2009. He went on to play three Tests in the 2009 Ashes where he took 10 wickets at 30.30, but is most famous for his two last-over rearguards on the tour of South Africa in 2009-10.

At Centurion and Cape Town he was twice left to fend off the final over of the Test against Makhaya Ntini and Morne Morkel to secure England draws to keep the visitors 1-0 ahead. However, after the second of those efforts he was left out for the last Test at the Wanderers when the selectors controversially preferred Ryan Sidebottom as South Africa squared the series.