Luis Reece will be a frustrated spectator on Thursday when Derbyshire play their biggest game of the season so far in the Royal London One-Day Cup at Trent Bridge.
Victory over the Notts Outlaws may well take the Falcons into the knockout stages - while defeat will end their chances of emerging from a tough North Group.
Reece was a key player until he was injured in last week’s home game against Yorkshire, a match Derbyshire narrowly lost but may well have won if the all-rounder had been able to bowl.
Now Reece is facing the possibility of two months out of the game after the injury was diagnosed as a broken metatarsal in the big toe of his right foot.
“It’s one of those freak injuries but now I’ve just got to try and get myself fit and back at some stage of the season,” he said.
“It is disappointing when you are in a bit of form and you are starting to put match-winning performances together and getting confidence with both bat and ball.
“It’s very rare for an all-rounder to get both firing at the same time and I was feeling I was getting to a stage where I felt both were beginning to fire.
“I was beginning to find some of my best cricket, and especially with the ball in first-class cricket it’s probably been the best I’ve bowled.
“But it’s part of cricket and part of sport and now it’s up to me to try and get myself better and stronger than I was before the break and I’ll be doing everything I can on my side to make sure I’m back sooner than anticipated.
“I’ve been doing upper body stuff and lower leg stuff that’s not involved the foot so I’m just trying to make sure I keep in the best condition I can. Not being on my feet makes it hard but the backroom staff have come up with a regime.”
Although Reece will be unable to influence Derbyshire’s fortunes in the short-term, he believes the team can maintain what has been an encouraging start to the season.
“Realistically I’ll probably do well to get back for the T20, especially if they’re going to operate which is sounding like the way it’s going to go, but it provides an opportunity now for others in the squad.
“There’s certainly enough talent to make sure someone can step in and do the job and hopefully we can carry on where we left off last year.
“We are in still in the One-Day competition and we’re well doing in red ball cricket so at the minute we’re playing well in most of the games. We’ve got to make sure now over the next few weeks we keep the momentum going and play the brand of cricket we’ve started the season with.”