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Kent's former Hampshire seamer David Griffiths fit and raring to go after successful back operation

By Mark Stokes

David Griffiths says he is determined to repay Kent for all the faith they have shown him during two injury ravaged seasons with the county.

It is almost a year to the day since Griffiths last played for Kent’s first team but following a successful operation to repair a stress fracture in his back, he is back and hoping to force himself into contention for their opening NatWest T20 Blast game against Somerset at Canterbury on Friday.

Griffiths admits he feared his career was at a crossroads after deciding to have surgery last year but says Kent’s decision to offer him a new deal while he was recuperating was all the motivation he needed to get fit again.

David Griffiths Picture: BarryGoodwin
David Griffiths Picture: BarryGoodwin

The 30-year-old seamer, who took four wickets for the 2nds in a four-day friendly with Yorkshire last week, explained: “A lot of hard work has gone into the last year, both by myself and everyone at Kent and I’m grateful for all the support they’ve given me.

“Knowing people had faith in me gave me massive confidence. It was that which helped drive me forward to play again and I want to repay the faith that everyone has shown in me, the coaches, the physios, Jamie Clifford (chief executive) and Sam Northeast, everyone has always been positive.”

Born on the Isle of Wight, Griffiths started his career at Hampshire, making his First Class debut in 2006 but after a succession of injuries, there he was released in 2013.

He joined Kent the following season but managed only 63 overs in all competitions and ill luck also dogged him in 2015 with a pre-season tricep injury followed by his back operation which meant he played just two T20 matches, the last of which was ironically against his former club at the Ageas Bowl on May 22.

Griffiths has played just 38 First Class matches since making his debut and 82 in all formats but he says his hunger for the game remains as strong as ever and he is keen to deliver on the promise he showed when taking career-best T20 (4-22 versus Middlesex) and championship figures (6-63 against Gloucestershire) during his debut season at Canterbury.

He added: “I was always positive (of resuming playing) once we’d made the decision to go down the surgery route.

“There’s always a little bit of a risk with a major operation but it was a small risk and one I was prepared to take because surgery offered me the best chance of getting back playing.”

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