Somerset cricket: Marcus Trescothick is facing seven weeks out with ankle injury
SOMERSET will be without their captain and talisman, Marcus Trescothick, for up to seven weeks after scans revealed he requires surgery on his damaged ankle.
The opening batsman could miss six LV= County Championship matches and a further four CB40 games while he recuperates from a recurrence of a problem that initially flared up last summer.
The 36-year-old left-hander damaged ankle tendons during his team's rain-affected draw against Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge and was unable to bat as his side reached 445-2 declared in an impressive first innings.
Somerset director of cricket Brian Rose said: "Marcus will be undergoing an operation as quickly as possible.
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"He has got some serious tendon damage, which has been revealed by the scan, so he needs an operation and he will be out, I would expect, for around six to seven weeks."
Somerset opted against sending Trescothick for an operation during the winter, after he initially injured the ankle in his side's Friends Life t20 quarter-final victory over Nottinghamshire, also at Trent Bridge.
He missed the final three Championship matches of last season, but was able to play in both the Friends Life t20 and CB40 finals.
Rose added: "It was an option to operate on the ankle during the winter – and it was probably a marginal call that we didn't.
"What he did in the last game exacerbated the original problem. Yes, he could have had an operation in the winter, but it was touch and go at the time."
In Trescothick's absence, Lewis Gregory could be given an extended opportunity to open the batting, having done so and scored six at Trent Bridge, while Alex Barrow and Chris Jones are further options to partner Arul Suppiah.
"There are two or three options," said Rose. "Lewis opened in an emergency the other day, and, because of his ability with the ball and in the field, it is possible we will keep him there for a couple of games to see how he reacts.
"That is one option, and also we have a young opener in Alex Barrow on our staff, although he has only just come back from a serious shoulder operation, so I don't think we would rush him back too quickly.
"We also have Chris Jones at university, but he has been struggling, as have a lot of batsmen, and he is short of runs, so in one way it may be better for him to keep going for Durham Uni for now.
"We haven't got a huge staff, because we can't have 25 players on our staff like some Test match-playing counties have. But the fact is that Marcus is injured and somebody will get a chance – they just need to make sure they take it with both hands."
Somerset have received some better news ahead of Thursday's Championship match against Lancashire at Taunton, with South Africa seam ace Vernon Philander passed fit after a slight back problem. Philander's fellow seamer, Steve Kirby, also hopes to overcome a slight thigh strain, but Gemaal Hussain and Adam Dibble remain sidelined. Hussain will play for Somerset's second XI against Surrey at Reigate next week.