SOMERSET County Cricket Club captain Tom Abell is expecting to return to full fitness by April 6.

He began his rehab programme last week and set the goal to lead his side out against Warwickshire at the Cooper Associates County Ground on April 6.

“That first game is the goal and I’m obviously desperate to get back playing again,” he said.

“But equally I’ve got to be sensible, and I certainly won’t be playing if I’m not fit to do so. I need to be fit to perform. There’s a lot of competition within the group and I’m not going to be any good to anyone if I’m not fit.

“It’s important not to think too far ahead and set any time frames. We’ll just have to see how my rehab goes. The last thing I want is to come back too early because then I could be out for even longer. Ultimately, I’m optimistic but we will just have to wait and see because we don’t know anything definite at the moment."

Somerset have strengthened the batting line up ahead of the 2023 campaign with the additions of Sean Dickson and Tom Kohler-Cadmore.

Abell said he is happy to fit in anywhere.

“I’m just happy to fit in somewhere.

“We’ve recruited brilliantly this winter and that’s brough a fresh energy and a bit more depth, which leads to healthy competition for places. That’s super exciting because I think the Club will reap the benefit of that and we’ll get the most out of each other."

The players are currently preparing for the new season in Abu Dhabi, and Tom outlined how the training is going.

“The first few days out here have been great. Unfortunately, I’m not able to do much at the moment, but it’s been good to see the boys go to work.

"Not being able to be involved is obviously frustrating, but I’m taking things day by day and dealing with what’s in front of me. I’ve started my rehab now and it’s great to be around the guys again and to connect with everyone.

“Everyone has been training really hard over the winter and the way that the boys have been going about their work and implementing what we’ve spoken about as a group is clearly evident. That’s exciting, and the challenge now is to replicate that in games. The key is unlocking our potential individually and as a group.”