DIRECTOR of cricket Steve Rhodes is hopeful that Worcestershire all-rounder Gareth Andrew could resume bowling in time for the Rapids’ NatWest T20 Blast encounter with Nottinghamshire Outlaws at New Road on June 27 “if all goes to plan”.

Andrew has been suffering with a back problem in recent weeks after playing an important role in the opening phase of the LV= County Championship Division Two programme.

When asked when Andrew would be fit to bowl, Rhodes said: “We haven’t got the ex act date but we are very optimistic if everything goes to plan that the T20 against Notts could well be the time when he could be back to bowling.

“But Gareth has obviously got a fitness programme to come through in his rehab and hopefully he will get there.”

Andrew made a flying start to the season after a successful winter of rehab and accumulated 20 wickets from the opening four Championship matches after taking the new ball.

His wicket tally included a career best 5-40 he returned in the drawn game at Glamorgan.

Andrew was then sidelined until brought into the side purely as a batsman for Saturday’s rain-hit NatWest T20 Blast encounter with Durham at New Road. It was an inspired move by Rhodes as Andrew’s 20 off just 12 balls helped Worcestershire to victory with four balls to spare.

Meanwhile, Lancashire have signed Australia Test batsman Usman Khawaja as their overseas player for the remainder of the season.

Khawaja, 27, played the last of his nine Tests in Australia’s defeat at Chester-le-Street last summer – the match in which England clinched the 2013 Ashes.