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Mark Wood targets Durham return to boost team’s County Championship prospects

(Photo: Tom Dymond)

By Joshua Peck

MARK Wood is targeting a place in Durham’s XI for their County Championship clash with Derbyshire at the end of this month as he steps up his recovery from a bruised heel.

Wood, who is supporting NatWest’s ‘Cricket has no boundaries’ campaign, was ruled out of the third Test of England’s recent series against South Africa with the injury having played the first two matches.

The 27-year-old’s latest injury is self-inflicted, and while there’s no definite recovery period for bruising, the bowler is aiming for a place in the game which begins on August 28.

Wood told The Cricket Paper: “I can do everything but bowl at the minute. I’ve got a set of cones which are like my best friend, they come everywhere with me and my running shoes. I put seven times my own bodyweight through my foot when I bowl, so it’s a lot of pressure.

“People keep asking me how long it’s going to take, but it’s like asking how long is a piece of string. It’s improving but it just needs rest.

“Durham have a County Championship game at the end of this month, so that’s my target but whether I meet that or not, I don’t know yet.”

Wood has often been struck down by injuries when seemingly approaching his prime.

A fine Champions Trophy campaign, where England were knocked out at the semi-final stage, saw Wood claim five wickets, including 4-33 against Australia. But he was halted in his tracks by an insole.

Wood added: “It was my own fault, stupid really. I should have put my fresh insoles in at Lord’s during the first Test, and I ended up leaving the wrong ones in.

“I went to change them and put in the old ones, which didn’t have the protection at the back. My new insoles have more sponge on the heel because that’s where I land but the ones I tried to keep in didn’t have that on.

“I was aware of my heel a little bit at Lord’s, but we didn’t think too much of it. We went to Trent Bridge, I trained and thought it was a little bit sore but I wasn’t giving up my spot that easily.

“I ended up not doing myself justice and it was more painful than I expected. I was probably at about 80 per cent, and you’re not really going to get away with that in a Test match. It wasn’t through a lack of effort, and hopefully I haven’t blown my chance of getting back into that Test squad.”

Mark Wood was speaking at the launch of NatWest’s #NoBoundaries wristbands for Chance to Shine. Find out where to get yours at NatWest.com/noboundaries

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