Fast bowler Olly Stone is delighted to be taking wickets once more and bowling at his best, after a “frustrating” ten-month absence from the Nottinghamshire first team caused by injury.

Stone took his first wicket of the season in Notts’ Vitality County Championship stalemate at Edgbaston two weeks ago, as he looks to cement his place in the red-ball side.

He forms part of the 12-man squad to face Lancashire at Trent Bridge on Friday (11am start), the Green and Golds hopeful of earning a first victory of the campaign after a promising all-round performance in Warwickshire.

Having shown fine form with the bat for the Second XI, Tom Moores is selected for the squad, while batter Ben Duckett is rested.

Brett Hutton will also miss the fixture, sidelined with an Achilles injury.

Having endured a lengthy spell on the sidelines himself, patience has proved rewarding for Stone whose consistent bowling performance in his return appearance earned the wicket of Jacob Bethell.

An optimist at heart, Stone has shown the value of persistance as he ensured to catalyse his recovery through hard work on the training ground and game time abroad over the winter.

“My recovery was tough at times,” Stone said, “coming to a new club and wanting to show people what I can do, it was really disappointing.

“Coming back during the Blast I took that diving one-handed catch in that crazy first over against Bears (Shaheen Afridi’s four-wicket frenzy) and I felt great, but sadly it didn’t go to plan after that.

“This year I planned to be back for the Warwickshire game and it’s always nice to play against your old club and try to get a few scalps, but more importantly it’s nice to be back and offer a bit of freshness to the team.

“I targeted returning for that game not because it’s my old team but because it was the right time for me. Everything aligned and it happened to be against my old county. But it felt better to dominate across four days.”

There was no hesitancy in throwing Stone into the deep end, either. The seamer churned through 23 overs, only a handful less than colleagues Dillon Pennington and Dane Paterson, and his economy rate of 3.22 was a clear indicator that the 30-year-old intends to make a considerable impact.

“The way I finished my last spell at Edgbaston last week made me relax a little bit more. The way the ball came out, it made me feel good and at my best. If selected this week, I hope that I can show that to the home crowd.

“There were times when I thought I wasn’t going to get a wicket, to be honest. It was a big relief to get it and by the end I thought I warranted it. At times I felt like I wasn’t as threatening as I would have liked. Dillon bowled outstandingly and his wicket tally showed for it; that only made me want to do better and show people what I can do.

“It was just so pleasing to see how I finished that spell, I felt like the cobwebs have gone and that I was in a good rhythm.”

Stone is feeling on song, with healthy competition only increasing his drive for success, explaining how witnessing the form of newcomer Dillon Pennington provides not only that desired competitive atmosphere, but also potential for exciting partnerships with the ball.

“We’ve seen in the first four games the kind of bowler he can be, he gets people excited. The scary thing is, I still think there’s a bit more to come from him.

“I love having a batch of fast bowlers who can come in and give it their all, and yet still have more waiting in the wings to step up when someone needs a rest.”

Looking forward to the challenge of visitors Lancashire on Friday, and the imminent threat of international spinners Nathan Lyon and Tom Hartley, Stone was encouraged by the consistency shown by the Green and Golds in their last outing.

“The way we are as a team, we probably haven’t put that all-round performance in so far this year, but that Edgbaston game was maybe the first game we’ve come together as a unit.

“We know that if we perform the way we can, we can be up there in the table and our consistency is probably what has hurt us.

“But with the pitches drying out that should bring our fast bowlers into the game more and put the opposition under pressure. This week we’ll hopefully have four days of good weather to put in four days’ worth of good cricket.”