ENGLAND CRICKET NEWS
Topley is recovering from a back injury and is expected to be fully fit in a few weeks. © Getty
Middlesex and Sussex are interested in signing England fast-bowler Reece Topley who is a free agent after leaving Hampshire at the end of last season.
Topley is currently working back to full fitness after a stress fracture of the back, sustained last summer. It was the fifth absence due to stress fractures of his career and his contract at Hampshire was not renewed at the end of the season by mutual consent. It ended an injury-ravaged three years at the club after his move from Essex.
His recovery from this latest setback has been different to the previous four, however. This is the first time Topley has had an operation to cure the injury and he had a titanium screw inserted into his back in August to mend the fractured vertebrae, a procedure which has been very successful in other English bowlers.
Thus far, Topley’s recovery from the operation is understood to be going well and he is back bowling at full pace, incorporating periods of rest as he goes along as directed by his surgeon. Although he is still a few weeks away from being able to play, his recovery is on track.
Topley trained with Victoria during a spell in Australia earlier this year and since being back in the UK, Cricbuzz understands he has spent time with Middlesex in recent weeks and will do the same with Sussex. Both have shown interest in securing his services for this season although it is understood that no decision has been made by either Topley or the counties as to a deal.
The 25-year-old has interest from other counties too since his injury. His record in all formats is excellent and he impressed during a handful of ODI and IT20 appearances for England in 2015 and 2016. Although a white-ball only contract is not out of the question, he retains ambitions to play both red and white-ball cricket even if it remains to be seen whether his body can stand up to the rigours of all three formats.
Despite his injury record, Topley also remains highly rated by England as a left-armer who can generate bounce and decent pace. After he impressed for the Lions, taking 4-16 against West Indies ‘A’ in a tri-series, his best List A figures, he was close to being called up for the T20 squad last summer when Tom Curran got injured.