By Tim Clarke 12/05 Updated: 18/05 09:17
WORCESTERSHIRE'S leading wicket-taker Alan Richardson has been ruled out of action for up to three weeks with a shoulder injury.
The 37-year-old seamer picked up the injury during Worcestershire's drawn LV= County Championship game against Surrey at New Road.
A scan of his shoulder confirmed Richardson, who was the leading wicket-taker in Division One of the Championship last season with 73 victims, had torn a muscle and will be out of action for up to three weeks.
The injury means he will certainly miss next week's Championship game against Sussex at New Road and could also struggle to be fit for the four day game against Somerset starting on May 30.
Director of cricket Steve Rhodes said: "He's unfortunately got a tear there and he's going to be out for at least two weeks, possibly three which is sad news for Worcester and Alan because he has been such a wonderful performer for us.
"Knowing Alan he will give it his best shot to get back as quickly as he can. He bowls a lot of overs for us and he will be missed but it will give somebody else a chance to impress and step up to the plate."
The disappointment of Richardson's absence could be tempered slightly by Gareth Andrew's impending return with the all rounder making good progress in his recovery from knee surgery during the winter.
"Gareth is playing league cricket and has played some cricket for the second team where he had a little a bowl and got 60 odd with the bat," Rhodes said.
"He's getting closer and closer all the time and I'm hoping he will be putting himself into contention next week for the Sussex game.
"Shants (Jack Shantry) never lets you down, he is a very reliable campaigner and in many ways if the likes of Alan are missing who goes at two and a half an over then someone like Shants who can keep good control would be an ideal replacement."
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