England batter Jonny Bairstow will make a second XI return for Yorkshire this coming week and is set to keep wicket for part of the game.
Tykes coach Ottis Gibson gave an update on Bairstow’s fitness after a rain-affected draw at Sussex concluded on Sunday, and revealed he will play against Nottinghamshire’s second string.
“Jonny is going to play this week against Notts at Headingley in the twos,” said Gibson. “We’ll go and have a look at him and see how he goes.”
Bairstow hit four brilliant centuries for England last summer but he has not played since suffering a freak accident on the golf course last September, and has had to watch as county colleague Harry Brook cemented himself in the number five spot in England’s batting order.
Bairstow has indicated he would like to resume wicketkeeping duties as and when he does return to the Yorkshire XI – giving him another route back into the England side.
Gibson continued: “He’s had such a long lay-off, so it’s a fitness assessment for him to see what his capacity is and what he can do on the field in terms running around in the outfield or standing behind the stumps.
“He will probably do both to see which one he’s most comfortable with.”
England’s one-off Test against Ireland, starting on June 1, has long been earmarked for Bairstow’s international comeback, with an eagerly-awaited Ashes series against Australia to follow.
Yorkshire have LV= County Championship fixtures against Glamorgan from May 4 and Durham a week later to provide him further match action beforehand.