Darren Gough says Jonny Bairstow wants to keep wicket for Yorkshire when he returns to action ahead of the Ashes.
According to Yorkshire head coach Ottis Gibson, Bairstow has been out since breaking his leg on a golf course last September but will be available for his county from mid to late May.
Harry Brook replaced Bairstow in the England middle-order following an injury to his Yorkshire teammate and has since scored four centuries in six Tests, including three in as many matches in Pakistan.
One way for Bairstow to return to the England XI for the first Ashes Test at Edgbaston on June 16 could be as a replacement for wicketkeeper Ben Foakes – although Yorkshire insist England have not requested Bairstow’s gloves.
Gough said, “Communication is the key and we haven’t heard anything from England yet, but I think Jonny has said he wants to keep.”
“I think Jonny knows there’s competition for places. He probably wants to give himself as many opportunities as possible. He’s a top player, he’s in good shape mentally with his game and he did the job. Where it wants to be and where it wants to be. Wants to go.”
Gibson said: “Part of the job in county cricket is to prepare the players for England.
“If England make a request we would be mad not to accommodate them, especially in an Ashes year. We will certainly try to accommodate that request, if and when it comes up.”
“I’ve had a conversation [Bairstow] And the medical team, who have done a great job. He should be available to play games in mid to late May. He has a terrible injury but is tracking well.
“He’s running up and down and he can run in straight lines, but he’s not doing a lot of lateral stuff yet.
“The medical team will tell us how far along he is, but when I’ve spoken to him, he’s hoping to be in a position to play in the first Test for England. That’s the target.”
Regular Yorkshire wicketkeeper Jonny Tattersall would be willing to “step aside” to allow Bairstow to take the gloves.
He said: “I understand this is the professional game and Jonny is an international player. He is there for a reason and if he needs a few things to prepare for England, so be it.”
“If that means I have to step aside to let Johnny take the gloves, that’s fine. If we’re winning games of cricket, that doesn’t matter to me.”