SOMERSET skipper Marcus Trescothick has targeted playing First Class cricket until he is at least 40-years-old.
The left-handed batsman returned to Taunton this week for winter training ahead of his 20th year with the county and fresh from a second operation on his ankle to remove bone spurs.
The original injury had left him sidelined for the majority of a summer where yet again silverware eluded Somerset. However, despite the setback, Trescothick, 37 on Christmas Day, said he had no plans to retire just yet.
The former England opener said: "I don't see anything changing for the next three or four years, hopefully it will be for as long as possible. I have always said I want to set my first target of reaching 40 and then re-assess where I am going to go from there.
"As long as the ankle and body holds up to that standard then nothing will change."
Trescothick revealed that going under the knife for the second time in a matter of months was always on the cards. The Keynsham-born man who struck two centuries in 2012 said he was fully prepared for regular treatment on his ankle.
"It seems alright and has recovered pretty well," he said. "There is no swelling there any more and it does not seem to swell up after a bit of golf or training. Apart from that, it is a case of maintaining it and I have an opportunity now to get it back strong and up to speed to where I need it to be to play a long season.
"I have been batting on and off for the last few weeks and this year I will try to maintain that throughout the winter without having too much of a rest. All of my fitness testing now is done on a rower, on a bike and in the pool and I won't be running again until the early part of next year.
"I always had to have it (the operation) at the end of the season. When you get bone spurs they rub on tendons and it is really annoying when you are just lying in bed and your ankle's aching.
"It is not something you can manage because the pain is always there until you get the spurs removed.
"I don't think it's necessarily going to be the end of my issues with it.Because of the type of foot I have got and how it works the mechanics are pretty ugly so I know there will be little niggles along the way. I am very prepared for that with the odd injection and maybe the odd rest to keep on top of it."
Trescothick, speaking during a week of fitness testing, said it was business as usual at the County Ground as the hunt for a new director of cricket continues.
Brian Rose stepped down at the end of last season and the skipper said there was a plan in place to take the team through the winter until an appointment was made.
Trescothick said: "You have just got to carry on, you can't change anything until somebody is brought in whether that is imminent or the start of next year. We have a plan in place, people behind the scenes are looking after the day-to-day running of what needs to be done and we can carry on as normal until something happens.
"I haven't been in every day, I have taken a rest from things, doing some television stuff towards the end of the season. We have been ticking over with training once, twice and sometimes even three times a week.
"Walking around a golf course for four hours is enough sometimes. I haven't been in much, popping in every now and then but doing most of what I have needed to have done from home on the phone."
Trescothick described the squad's current make-up as "balanced" but added international call-ups for England trio Nick Compton, Craig Kieswetter and Jos Buttler along with Ireland's George Dockrell could change that.
"We look quite well-balanced at this stage and we will have to wait and see what happens with Nick, Craig, Jos and George with how long they are away for," he said.
"There are always little things we are looking to manage which isn't easy to do because if you were to lose three at the same time it puts a big hole in your team."