Durham coach ponders options for five days of derby action at home to Yorkshire.

Durhams Paul Coughlin bowling at Notts opener Michael Lumb at The Emirates, Chester-le-Street, today (Wednesday)
Durhams Paul Coughlin bowling at Notts opener Michael Lumb at The Emirates, Chester-le-Street, today (Wednesday)
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Durham are weighing up their bowling options as they prepare for five days of derby action at home to Yorkshire.

The Specsavers County Championship clash starts on Monday and is followed by a NatWest T20 Blast match on Friday.

We have learnt that if you push players too hard it comes back to bite you

Coach John Lewis

First they face a T20 tie at Northampton tonight, for which left-armer Jamie Harrison is in contention after turning an ankle in the Royal London Cup tie at Derby 10 days ago.

Including England pair Ben Stokes and Mark Wood, that made him the eighth seamer to be injured this season.

The centrally-contracted duo are expected to return to action shortly in the second team, while Graham Onions and James Weighell should be ready for Monday.

Chris Rushworth’s two-match absence with a torn buttock muscle saw him miss his first championship action for two years, while Brydon Carse and Paul Coughlin have had foot injuries.

Carse is out indefinitely after playing in all six championship matches to date, so the vacancy on Monday could be filled by Usman Arshad.

“Barry McCarthy is another possibility, but he will not be back from playing for Ireland against Sri Lanka until Sunday,” said coach Jon Lewis.

“That is not ideal, nor do we want to rush Coughlin into four-day action.

“We have learnt that if you push players too hard it comes back to bite you.”

Onions (foot) and Weighell (lower calf) both finished the last championship match at Trent Bridge on the treatment table and Lewis admitted that the seam attack which takes the field against Yorkshire will not be 100 per cent fit.

“Weighell has got in some overs in the second team this week and has come through OK,” he said.

“He was really impressive in taking nine wickets in the match at Edgbaston against one of the strongest batting line-ups in the country.

“Yorkshire are also a bit short, but we are used to having good, fiercely-contested games against them and whoever plays it will be no different.

“Paul Collingwood still refers to our match at Scarborough three years ago as the next best thing to Test cricket he has experienced.

“There are no big gaps in any of the tables at the moment, but a single week can make a big difference.”