Steven Mullaney feels he is returning to action stronger than before as he prepares to take up captaincy duties once again for the visit of Kent to Trent Bridge.
The skipper has missed almost two months of the season after undergoing an operation on his knee in July, but hopes the layoff will prove beneficial over the next few weeks.
“I’ve worked hard to get ready, and I’m champing at the bit,” said Mullaney.
“The work I’ve been doing with Pipey (James Pipe, club physio) and Liam (Price, Strength & Conditioning coach) has been going in the right direction, so I feel fit, I feel like my knee is strong, and I feel like I’m ready to play.
“It’s a challenge for all of us to get back into a different format, but we’ve had a good couple of days’ prep and I’m really confident going into the game.”
Mullaney will retake the captaincy reins from Chris Nash for the Specsavers County Championship run-in, with Nottinghamshire looking to overhaul a 42-point deficit to secure Division One survival.
But the 32-year-old insists he will keep his messaging simple as the final three games of the season approach.
“Everyone knows the situation we’re in at the minute, and what we need to do,” he said.
“It’s about giving the players the confidence to go out there and express themselves.
“Qualifying for (Vitality Blast) finals day is a magnificent achievement, but I think it’s important that we put that to one side.
“I’ll be asking everyone to focus on the next four days, and mainly the first day and the first hour.
“It’s really important that we get off to a good start and get ourselves into a position when we can post a result.”
Notts will be able to call on Ravichandran Ashwin once again in the closing stretch of the red-ball season, after the spinner travelled to the West Indies with the India Test side.
The all-rounder was named the PCA Player of the Month for July after scoring 197 runs and taking 23 wickets in his first stint with the club.
While Mullaney is looking forward to welcoming the off-spinner back, he is adamant that every member of the starting XI needs to step up to help preserve the green and golds’ first-division status.
“I think any side would like to have Ash in the side,” he said.
“The way he started with bat and ball for us showed he’s a world class player, but we can’t rely on him.
“We’ve not got it right this season, we need to take responsibility for what’s happened, and whoever’s on the field needs to take responsibility for finishing the season as strongly as we can in the Championship.”
Nottinghamshire squad to face Kent (from): Ravichandran Ashwin, Jake Ball, Zak Chappell, Joe Clarke, Paul Coughlin, Ben Duckett, Luke Fletcher, Jake Libby, Tom Moores, Steven Mullaney (c), Chris Nash, Liam Patterson-White, Ben Slater, Luke Wood.
Nottinghamshire Membership for the 2020 season is on sale, with those who join for next season currently bestowed exclusive access to applying for international tickets.