Warwickshire first-team coach Mark Robinson has warned that the Bears must be patient with injured England pace bowler Olly Stone’s return to fitness.
Stone, 28, is recovering well from the back stress fracture that had him considering his future at Test level.
But Robinson says it will be “a bonus” if he is fit for the start of the new county season in April.
“Olly’s doing really well,” Robinson told BBC CWR. “He had a scan before Christmas, which came back clear.”
Stone, who is on a dual contract with England, has so far excelled in his three Test appearances, taking 10 wickets.
His injury last June left him sidelined this winter for the Ashes series. But England have been keen to try and keep him involved when they go the West Indies for a T20 series later this month, followed by three Tests in March.
“They have been excellent,” said former England Women World Cup winning boss Robinson. “We’re making sure we’re all joined up.
“We’re hoping he might go to the Caribbean to be in and around the England team – not to take part competitively, just to be part of that tour, to help his build-up to full fitness.
“It’s just a case of being patient. We’re both just trying to find a way to break this cycle of three or four games, then he has to have some time off.
“He’s just starting to bowl now off a few paces as he works his way back to fitness. He’s doing everything apart from bowling off his full run-up.
“I’m not sure whether he will be fit for the start of the season. We’re planning that he won’t be and that if he does make it then it’s a bonus.”
As to when the new season might begin, the first-class fixtures having not yet been announced, Robinson said: “You can make your assumptions.
“But there’s nothing to believe that we’re not going to start around the same time as last year. We envisage it being anything between the 5th and 10th of April.
“It’s just a bit of a question mark about what happens pre-season. Having lost Pop Welch, we currently have Kabir Ali and Mo Sheikh working with our bowlers to a point where we are able to appoint someone full-time.
“But other than Chris Woakes and Chris Benjamin, who is in South Africa, we now have everyone back for pre-season training. We have Dan Mousley back from Sri Lanka, we have our England Lions boys back, Liam Norwell and Rob Yates, and we now have Alex Davies in the building.”
Mark Robinson was talking to BBC CWR’s Mikey Burrows.