Ian Saxelby: I'll be fully fit for start of season with Gloucestershire County Cricket Club
Ian Saxelby is confident of being fully fit for the start of the season after some niggling shoulder problems this winter.
The 23-year-old seamer has experienced more discomfort from the right shoulder, which he dislocated twice before surgery that saw him miss the entire 2010 season.
But Saxelby is optimistic the latest setbacks are behind him and is pleased the knee trouble which caused him to miss the end of last season has settled down.
He said: "I did have a bit of a niggle in my right shoulder, but I have just come back from a week's holiday, getting a bit of sun, and everything feels fine.
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"Before I went away I did some work with the physio and I hope to be back all guns blazing within a week or so.
"I don't think the problem was anything to worry about and I expect to be strong going into outside nets and the pre-season games.
"Because of the injuries I have had with my shoulder there may always be niggles with it, But I can deal with that and I'm looking forward to being fully fit and ready for the start of the season.
"My knee feels fine and there is no particular discomfort to report. Again there is the odd niggle, but nothing I can't cope with.
"I'll know more when I start running and bowling outside, but I'm optimistic I will come through that okay and be ready for the opening games.
"The knee has stood up to the winter programme set for me so at the moment it looks like the decision to postpone surgery was the right one.
"Once you get outside you feel your way back into your run-up. Then, with the season a couple of weeks away, you have to operate flat-out, as you would in the opening game.
"By then I hope to be fully switched on because with the squad we have there is going to fierce competition for places, which should drive us all forward in the pre-season matches."
Saxelby said that with the new campaign fast approaching there is a growing sense of excitement in the dressing room at the County Ground.
"Michael Klinger arrives in a couple of weeks and it will be good for the lads to get involved with him," he said. "The season is only a month away and there is definitely a feeling of anticipation.
"There has been four months of hard work during the winter, but now that the first matches are in sight we all want to get our heads down even more and ensure we are thoroughly prepared.
"My first target is to try and play a full season again. I didn't manage that last year and if I can play in the majority of games hopefully there will be some good rewards.
"I am not sure if I will play in all formats, but I would like to. If I played all 16 Championship games I'd like to think I could take 50 wickets, but again that will depend on fitness.
"I had a good Twenty20 campaign last summer and was up there among the leading wicket-takers in the country so if I could maintain that I would be happy.
"My goals are pretty standard ones, but the main thing is to be out there playing as often as possible.
"I would also like to move myself back up the batting order. After missing a season with my shoulder problem there was a massive back to basics with my batting, concentrating on not getting out.
"I batted at nine or ten last summer and ended up averaging 22, which I was happy about. Now I would like to get back up to around number eight and try to churn some runs out from there.
"That would give me more team-mates to bat with and hopefully I could target 500 runs in all formats. That's not set in stone, but it would be a nice milestone to achieve."
As far as the team are concerned, Ian is expecting a season of progress.
He added: "I think it is very difficult to target winning all competitions and it may be that we identify one format as priority. That will be down to the captain and director of cricket.
"There are sides with a lot more experience than us and we have a relatively small squad, which means we can't rotate players in and out of the team.
"I'd like to think we will be a difficult side to beat in the Championship and will at least be mid-table ready to launch a late bid for promotion.
"In the two one-day competitions I think it will be a case of trying to make a good start and then targeting one of them as a realistic chance of winning a trophy."