Luis Reece has not played since he broke a metatarsal in his right foot in a Royal London One-Day Cup game at the end of May but is hoping to make a comeback in the fixture against Middlesex which starts at Lord’s tomorrow (Tuesday) or the home match with Gloucestershire next Monday.
Derbyshire have certainly missed the all-rounder, particularly in the Vitality T20 Blast, and Reece can’t wait to get back in the first team.
“It’s like being a kid in a candy store,” the 28-year-old said. “I’ve not been able to do a lot of things for the last three or four months, it’s been frustrating , and I just want to get out there and play again.
“The Middlesex game is the one I’m targeting, obviously it depends on selection and what the captain wants to do, but all I can do is make sure my skills levels are as high as they can be.
“You just want to get out there and be competitive. I’m hoping that energy will give me a bit of an edge in that I’ll have that energy whereas everyone else will have had a hard summer.
“There will be some tired aching bodies around so maybe I can add a bit of freshness to our side if I do get the chance to play which hopefully will have a benefit for the other lads as well as me.”
It has been a long road back for Reece after suffering what his consultant described as one of the worst injuries of its type he’d seen.
“I did my first metatarsal, the consultant said he’d never seen a break like mine! The first isn’t usually the one that goes and he said in all his time he’s never seen a first metatarsal snap like that.
“I knew it was going to be a long lay-off and I just had to do everything I could to try and come back as early as I could but at the same time make sure I wasn’t at risk of doing any further damage.”
When the season ends, Reece will be heading for Western Australia to play for a club team in Perth and then trying to get another stint in the Bangladesh Premier League.
“As it stands I’ve got a gig in Australia in October for a month so I’ll play some white ball cricket in Perth at the start of their season,” he added.
“I had last winter off but I was there for three winters before that so I’m very lucky I’ve got a lot of friends over there and they look after me very well.
“The other overseas player isn’t going out until the end of October so they asked me to fill in and carry on with my return to cricket and after that it’s a case of trying to see if I can get into some of these T20 leagues around the world like I did last year.”
The Middlesex game will be Derbyshire’s first at Lord’s since 2013, as they aim for a third consecutive Championship win which would also complete a double over Middlesex.
The 3aaa County Ground won praise again this weekend for staging the Vitality Club T20 on Sunday – with Simon Storey, the Derbyshire chief executive, presenting the trophy to Gary Fellows, the former Yorkshire all-rounder who led Hanging Heaton to victory over Swardeston of Norfolk in the final.