England spin bowler Graeme Swann has targeted the New Zealand series in May as his return date from injury.
England spinner Graeme Swann missed the recent tour of New Zealand after undergoing an operation on his elbow, but is keen to prove his fitness before the Ashes starts in July.
Swann has optimistically looked to feature for England in the return series against the Black Caps in May, although failing that he expects to be bowling again by the Ashes.
“By the end of April I’d like to be bowling competitively,” the 34-year-old was quoted on the Guardian’s website.
“I don’t know whether that’s optimistic or not, but that’s how my mind works.
“I’ve got to convince Alastair Cook and Andy Flower that I’m fully fit, and not just pulling the wool over their eyes.”
England struggled during their tour of New Zealand without Swann, with his replacement Monty Panesar failing to really make an impression with the ball and the side only just drawing the series.
The spin bowler’s real ambition is to be back playing cricket for his club side Nottinghamshire’s County Championship match against Durham on 29 April, a fortnight before the first New Zealand Test starts at Lord’s.
However, Swann has plenty of other opportunities before the Ashes if he doesn’t make that with another Test against New Zealand at Headingley followed by the Champions Trophy in his home nation.
The Three Lions have another injury concern as the countdown to the Ashes begins with Kevin Pietersen currently out for at least six weeks with a knee injury.