Worcestershire Director of Cricket Steve Rhodes admits having all-rounder Gareth Andrew fully fit for the 2015 season "will be like having a new signing."
Andrew made a flying start to the last campaign with 20 wickets in four LV = County Championship matches in the new ball role.
He then suffered a fracture in his lumbar pedicle which meant he could only operate as a batsman for the remainder of the summer.
But the back problem has slowly but surely improved and Andrew will have a scan before Christmas with a view to starting bowling with the rest of the squad in the New Year.
Rhodes said: "Gareth played four Championship games at the start of the season and took 20 wickets.
"There were some awesome performances with the ball for us.
"We've got to think positive and be confident he will get back playing and it will be like having a new signing.
"Even throughout the summer, when we got the scans and he was playing as a batsman and wasn't allowed to bowl, there was a massive improvement.
"The stress area was showing real positive signs of improvement, and the winter has given us an opportunity to have a nice easy paced rehab.
"We will scan him just before Christmas with a view to going straight back into bowling with the rest of the guys after Christmas."