Jones out of season opener
Worcestershire will be without injured paceman Simon Jones for the start of the domestic summer.
Last Updated: 15/04/09 4:52pm
Worcestershire fast bowler Simon Jones will miss the start of the county season.
Jones, 30, underwent knee surgery last September following a successful first season at New Road during which he took 42 first-class wickets in nine matches.
But the former Glamorgan player has yet to fully recover from his latest operation and does not want to rush back too soon.
Worcestershire, who gained promotion last season, begin their Division One campaign against Hampshire at the Rose Bowl on Wednesday.
"I'm getting there. I am working hard but we said that we won't rush things," Jones said.
"This opening County Championship game at Hampshire, starting tomorrow, has come a bit too early for me.
"I want to come back when I am right, rather than coming back too early and rushing things.
"It has been a tough winter, and nothing comes easy, but I've worked hard on my fitness, strengthening my legs and looking after my knee."
Jones was one of England's key performers when they won the last home Ashes series, with 18 wickets in four Tests.
But he has not played for England since the fourth Test in 2005 and is refusing to think too far ahead after being dogged by injury problems.
"Any English cricketer wants to play for their country, but I am focusing on my cricket for Worcestershire," he added.
"If I can play well for my county and get wickets I know I will be pushing for a place.
"I do believe in myself but I am not looking too far ahead. I'm just going to get as fit as I can."
Meanwhile, Worcestershire's overseas signing for 2009, Australian seamer Ashley Noffke, will link up with the county on Thursday.
The Queenslander underwent back surgery last month but has got the green light to join the Pears.