ALL-ROUNDER Corey Anderson is hopeful of being fit for New Zealand's tour of Australia this November, despite being diagnosed with a double stress fracture in his spine just three months ago.
The Black Caps will name their 15-man squad for the three-Test series against Australia on Friday, a little less than two months before the series gets underway in Brisbane on November 5.
Anderson is expected to be named in the squad, but his availability for the first Test at the Gabba is yet to be confirmed, cricket.com.au reported on Thursday.
The 24-year-old Mumbai Indian injured his back during the first Test against England at Lord's in May and was later diagnosed with fractures in the L3 and L5 vertebrae in his back.
Having missed New Zealand's one-day series in England and South Africa, Anderson has returned to training with a toned down workload that is being monitored closely by the team's medical staff.
He is currently bowling off two paces in the nets, but says the plan is to "push it to the edge" in the coming weeks in the hope of being available for the start of the New Zealand domestic season on October 15 before heading to Australia.
"It's felt like a pretty slow process as backs always seem to take a lot longer," Anderson said.
"Everything is going to plan and I'm just hoping to make myself available for that tour. That's the time frame I've been given and I'm on track for that. That first Test is the aim and if I'm not right I obviously won't be playing.
"I wouldn't go in 80 percent; it's very hard to play a Test match if you're not firing on all cylinders."
Anderson's injury came after an intense period of cricket that started against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) last November and included the 2015 World Cup, the Indian Premier League (IPL) and the tour of England.
He said the constant playing eventually took a toll.
"Whether there's one or two (stress fractures) it doesn't really matter; the time frame will stay the same. It's not nice and it was almost a relief that I found out I had something and I could treat it and get back on the park. You get a little bit worried that you'll have to keep playing through pain.
"We started in Dubai with a pretty big tour, then the home summer and all the focus was on the World Cup trying to time our bodies to peak during that period. It all kept flowing on to IPL then the England tour and no one really had time to take a breather and realise what we'd done over that six-month period," the Kiwi all-rounder remarked.
"I had a couple of niggles; a broken hand through the IPL and a bit of flying time which wouldn't have helped the back, then straight into Test matches," said the Mumbai Indian all-rounder.