Cricket: Gough unlikely to join tour

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The Independent Online
DARREN GOUGH has virtually ruled out joining England in the West Indies despite being given the all-clear yesterday to resume training following a knee operation last month.

Instead the Yorkshire pace bowler, who missed the last months of last year's County season with the injury, has his sights set on his county's pre-season tour of South Africa next month.

"It doesn't look as though I am going to rush back and that probably means I won't play any part in England's tour of the West Indies," he said. "I will have two or three weeks' steady build-up before going to Lilleshall for a week with the aim of making the tour of South Africa.

"Deep down I always felt the Yorkshire tour would be the one I ended up on and unless I get stronger much more quickly than expected that will be the case. But you never know and I will leave it up to the selectors to decide. Once I start building up properly it could all start to look different but I am pretty sure nobody - myself included - wants to risk another setback by coming back too soon."

The knee injury forced Gough to miss the last two months of the 1997 County season.