JOE ROOT could be back in the nets by the end of this week after breaking his right thumb in eight places on England duty last month.
Yorkshire announced yesterday that their 23-year-old batsman had signed a two-year contract extension with the club until December 2016, just hours before he was due to get an update on the injury from his specialist.
He went straight from Yorkshire’s pre-season media day at Headingley to have an X-ray.
And before he went, he said: “I’m going for an X-ray, and I’ll get some more news then.
"If it’s good news, hopefully I’ll be back hitting some cricket balls by the end of the week and back playing by the end month. All being well, that’s the plan.”
Amazingly, Root suffered the break midway through the innings in which he brought up his maiden one-day international hundred against the West Indies at Antigua on March 5.
Just over a fortnight ago, he revealed that he was hopeful of a return to the field for Yorkshire in their LV= County Championship match against Middlesex at Lord’s on April 27 - their third match of the season.
Yesterday, he admitted that was still the plan, although he did say: “That’s everything going swimmingly.”
England’s first international of the summer is a one-day match against Scotland on May 9.
Since scoring 63 on debut for Yorkshire against Essex in a Pro40 match in September 2009, Root has gone on to play all forms of international cricket, earn an England central contract and become the poster boy of Yorkshire cricket.
“I’ve played a lot of cricket in that time,” he continued.
"More than anything, I’ve learned to adapt to different situations quickly.
“That’s something I’ve had to do. I’ve been up and down the order, I’ve gone from winning the Ashes to losing the Ashes to winning in India and drawing in New Zealand.
“With Yorkshire, we just missed out at Twenty20 Finals Day and finished second in the Championship. There’s a lot gone on in a short space of time.
“But to have all those experiences under my belt at the age of 23 will hopefully stand me in good stead.”
Of his new contract, he said: “I’m really excited about that. It’s obviously a great club, and I love playing with the lads.
“It’s a good atmosphere in the changing room, and we’ve got a really good side at the minute.
“Hopefully we can come away with some silverware this summer and take that forward into the rest of that stint I’m here at the club.”
Ahead of today’s non-first-class three-day friendly between Yorkshire and Northamptonshire at Wantage Road, White Rose director of cricket Martyn Moxon admitted his delight at the Root deal.
He added: “He is one of the brightest talents in the game, and will be part of Yorkshire and England’s plans for many years to come.
“His desire to be the best that he can is a perfect example to our young players that if you work hard on your skills and have total commitment, you can achieve almost anything in your profession.
“He is only 18 months into his England career, and he is already an established member of the national side.
"I’m looking forward to seeing Joe continue his progression as a Yorkshire and England cricketer.”
Root’s last two Championship appearances for Yorkshire came at the start of last season against Durham and Derbyshire. In three innings, he scored 467 runs at an average of 155.66. He returned scores of 49, 182 and 236 in two wins.