Tim Bresnan says that his back “feels great” as he steps up his recovery from a stress fracture of the lower back with the Ashes squad in Australia.
Bresnan, who last played in the fourth Investec Ashes Test during August, is not officially part of the touring party but is training with them with a view to playing in the series ahead.
Speaking exclusively to ecb.co.uk about his back, the 28-year-old seamer said: “It feels great. I can’t feel anything down there so fingers crossed, touch wood and all that.”
Explaining his work-out, Bresnan added: “Basically six overs, 36 balls, off a full run-up, 85 per centish at the minute, build up the intensity and build up the amount that we do.
“And then finishing it off with some running, running drills, simulating the sort of blow you’d get when bowling. Six overs, running in, building up to an eight-over spell.”
Bresnan was training under the watchful eye of England fast bowling coach David Saker, who placed an emphasis on the seamer making steady progress.
Saker said: “He’s going very, very well but we’re still very mindful that he’s getting over an injury that’s quite severe and we don’t want to rush that back.
“We just want to keep progressing it slowly. We won’t rush him back. We’ll just play him when the medical staff give us the all-clear to play.”
Saker makes net sessions as much like playing in a match as possible for the bowlers.
“You need a challenge there for them,” he explained. “You do really see a difference between the really good bowlers, the Test-quality bowlers and the ones that are maybe just one or two steps down below.”
Other non-squad members with England are Tymal Mills and Harry Gurney, flown over to provide the batsmen with practice against left-arm seam bowling.
Saker added: “That last session was with the two left-armers, the young guys, just putting them under pressure so that they can do their skill really well. Under pressure, that’s what happens in a game so we try to emulate that as much as we can.
Speaking of the collective bowling unit, Saker concluded: “I think they’re progressing well. They’re all in a good place. Their bodies are really good. That’s the positive thing, they’re all fresh.”