England bowler Chris Woakes confident of international return
By PA Sport
Last Updated: 09/04/19 12:42pm
Chris Woakes is optimistic his prospects of featuring in the World Cup and Ashes will not be jeopardised by a long-standing knee problem following a couple of injections to the area.
The Warwickshire seamer feels his fitness has "turned a corner" ahead of a bumper summer on home soil in which England are targeting a first global 50-over crown as well as regaining the urn they lost in Australia.
Woakes, a key pillar of England's one-day side as well as a Test regular too, had his winter disrupted by an injury that has consistently troubled him in recent times.
Memories of his Champions Trophy campaign being curtailed by a side strain after England's opening match two years ago are still fresh in the mind.
Woakes has therefore been doing his utmost since his return from the Windies tour to strengthen the right knee that will not require an operation but which will need to be managed.
The 30-year-old said: "I feel like I'll still be able to get through constant days of cricket. It's in a better place than it was in the West Indies.
"I just found that in the Caribbean when it flared up a little bit, I struggled to get out of second gear and it just felt like I couldn't really get going.
"Since getting back it's been good to have a couple of injections, settle it down, build a bit of strength around it and do a bit of rehab. I feel like I've turned a corner with it.
"At the minute, surgery is not an option. Further down the line, maybe at some point it might be an option.
"You know, injuries are part and parcel of the game and part of professional sport. But what happened in the Champions Trophy gives me a little bit of extra motivation to be right for an exciting summer ahead.
"It's just something which I have to manage and constantly maintain. As a fast bowler you're always going to have something that's sore, so if that's the only thing that's sore I'll take that.
"Looking at the schedule moving forward, although there's a lot of cricket, it's actually quite spaced out nicely so that shouldn't be an issue."
Woakes, who has earned a reputation as one of the best opening bowlers in the world, is confident he will be a part of England's 15-man squad which is due to be named later this month ahead of the opening fixture against South Africa on May 30.