BRYDON CARSE is set to end a ten-month absence from the Durham team when he makes his first-team return in the County Championship game with Glamorgan that starts at Riverside tomorrow morning.

Carse last featured for Durham in the Championship in July 2021 against Warwickshire, only to be withdrawn two days into the game because of selection for England’s one-day side for their series against Pakistan.

He was then called up for England Lions duty in Australia, but suffered torn cartilage in his right knee, which brought his tour to a premature end.

The 26-year-old has undergone a five-month period of rehabilitation, and stepped up his return to action with an appearance for Durham’s seconds last month.

He has also played for North-East Premier League club Burnopfield, with his selection for this week’s four-day game marking the final stage of his recovery programme.

Aside from Carse’s involvement, Durham head coach James Franklin has otherwise named the same squad which was selected to take on Worcestershire last week.

That means England Test captain Ben Stokes remains in the ranks after his record-breaking heroics with the bat at New Road, which saw him set a new domestic record for the number of sixes hit in a first-class innings.

“Our performance during the Worcestershire game was a hell of a lot better than it had been the previous two matches,” said Franklin. “That is real progress for me. We took a step back the last two games, but (last) week seemed like a positive step forward.

“From a batting point of view, there were some really nice signs and, not just myself, but a number of people in our dressing room are particularly pleased for Sean (Dickson).

“By his own admission, his last two years have been a little bit lean by his own standards, but now he is showing everyone the class player he is. The challenge for him is to try and sustain some semblance of this form through the rest of the season.”

Durham are yet to claim a victory this season, having drawn four and lost one of their opening five County Championship matches.

However, they are not the only side to have found wins hard to come by in the opening month of the season, with wickets up and down the country tending to be more batsman-friendly than might normally have been the case at this stage of the summer.

“The pitches this season haven’t offered as much as much for the bowlers,” said Franklin. “It’s a bit of U-turn on the last few years, but in all honesty I think it is a positive for cricket. We are seeing tougher cricket."