Canterbury and former Black Caps paceman Hamish Bennett will finally return to first class cricket this season.
Bennett's been missing from the top ranks of New Zealand cricket since sustaining a serious back injury early last year.
He's aiming to return next month but Canterbury coach Gary Stead says they have to be careful.
"Hamish (has) been out of the game for about 18 months now and no doubt it plays on his mind a wee bit. The surgeries he has had is the same as what Shane Bond had and so Shane came back well from it."
He says he's only just getting back to full pace and it's still up there.
"He's bowling it with some real heat, but for us it's about being important that he's got his bowling loads and stuff up so we're not going to break him immediately."
Gary Stead says there's no doubt Bennett's confidence will have taken a hit with the injury.
"Probably two or three weeks away from being really ready to go at first class level as yet so we're hoping to introduce Hamish through some of the Twenty20 games for a start."
Hamish Bennett will miss the first round of Plunket Shield this weekend.
Canterbury takes on Otago in the first round of Plunket Shield on Saturday with Central meeting Wellington.