Leyland Cricket Club skipper Dave Makinson is set to miss the start of the new season after aggravating an old back injury.
The former Lancashire bowler had to have a disc removed in 1987, and other than the occasional spasm has been fine ever since.
However, he suffered a relapse at the start of this year and the condition has developed into sciatica.
He said: “I was on the rowing machine and I felt a sharp pain in my back, which stiffened up.
“I saw the physio and had a CT scan. I’ve been diagnosed with sciatica and although I can walk, I can’t bend or twist.
“The sciatica is still in my right leg. It’s getting better but it’s slow.
“I’ve not bowled in the nets yet. I’d be surprised if I was available for the start of the season, but I’m not giving up yet.”
Makinson said excitement levels were building for the new season, which starts with an away trip to Fleetwood on April 16.
The Fox Lane club has welcomed former Preston star Dave Fisher and Euxton-based Adam Coates to their ranks.
Makinson said: “Adam moved to live in Euxton and he’s a good player who captained the Bolton League team last season.
“He’s 28 years old and has regularly scored 400 to 500 runs for the last 10 years or so. He’s also fitted in very well.”
Last season’s second team captain Chris Dovey has retired, Australian Daniel Hall won’t be returning while Tom Reece has moved to Manchester for work reasons.
Tom’s younger brother Luis isn’t expected to be available every week because of his commitments with the Unicorns, while teenager batsman Henry Thompson can only play a few games up to the end of June because he’s playing for Bolton School.
Makinson said: “There’s been a really good turnout at the nets and the new arrivals have kept everyone looking over their shoulder.
“There’s a real competition for places because there are only a few who can say they are guaranteed a spot.”
The veteran has been in touch with the club’s South African pro Brett Pelser, who has been able to give the inside track on one of Leyland’s rivals this season.
“One of his opponents in South Africa (Pieter Malan) has been signed for Barrow as their pro and Brett talked about this lad,” said Makinson.
“He played against Brett and got about 140.
“Brett can’t wait to get back and make sure his second season is even better than his first.”