WORCESTERSHIRE have been handed a major fitness boost with in-form all-rounder Wayne Parnell given the green light to return to action in the next Specsavers County Championship clash against Lancashire at Blackfinch New Road.

Parnell suffered a hamstring injury during the first meeting with Lancashire at Emirates Old Trafford last week after top-scoring with 63 and taking five wickets during the first innings.

But the 29-year-old is back running after being diagnosed with only a low-grade tear and will be ready for the County’s next Division Two game beginning on Monday, June 10.

Ben Davies, head of sports science and medicine, said: “Wayne picked up a hamstring injury at Lancashire last week in between innings which was a real shame.

“But he has settled down really nicely, we will rehab him and he will return for the next first-team fixture.

“He just missed out on the Middlesex game. It is a low-grade tear.

“He is back to running and is not too far off. He will be fully fit for the Lancashire game.”

Parnell was the County’s leading wicket-taker with 22 in the Royal London One-Day Cup.

There is also encouraging news about paceman Dillon Pennington who suffered an ankle injury during fielding practice last month.

Davies said: “Dillon has settled down really nicely from his ankle injury.

“He returned to bowling last week in the nets and will return to club cricket (for Shrewsbury) this weekend.

“We will build him up gradually and his first game back for the seconds will be a T20 on Thursday at Stourport against Warwickshire.

“He has done really well, is a few weeks ahead of schedule and we are really pleased.

“He has worked so hard, doing double sessions every day, trying to get fit as quick as he can.”

Fellow paceman George Scrimshaw will also return to bowling next week after suffering a sore back.

Davies added: “Scrimmy is doing really well. He will get back to bowling next week and we will build him nice and gradual and reintroduce him to the second team.

“He is doing two sessions a day, trying to get back as quick as we can, and turned it around quite quickly.”

Meanwhile, boss Alex Gidman described the 127-run defeat to Middlesex in Division Two as a “disappointing performance all-round”.

The County were bowled out on the final day at Blackfinch New Road for 225 with Daryl Mitchell and Ross Whiteley scoring half-centuries as the visitors wrapped up a comfortable victory.

First-team coach Gidman said: “It was a disappointing performance all-round really.

“We were below what we expect of ourselves.

“The lads acknowledged we have performed poorly by our own standards we set but not through lack of trying.

“We just didn’t get it quite right enough in enough of the disciplines over the course of the three and a bit days.

“As a collective, we identified the first four Championship games.

“We would have some plans, methods, clear tactics and we were going to review it after the four games which we will do now.

“We will go away and discuss the areas of our game we need to do better.

“We’ve got some competition for places and that is certainly an area we will be discussing.”