IT WAS just a short spell off a one-step run-up but for injury-plagued Queensland quick Ryan Harris, Monday's bowling session at Buderim marked the start of a determined comeback.
The 32-year-old has made a welcome return to the fold after three-and-half months on the sidelines and is intent on forging his way back into the Australian pace attack.
"I had a bit of shoulder clean-out six weeks ago and rolled my arm over for the first time on Monday," Harris said yesterday.
"It felt good, so now I've got to increase my workload and get back up to speed.
"The surgery hasn't fixed the problem completely, but it's sort of achieved what I wanted it to achieve and taken away a bit of pain."
At his best, Harris is as one of the world's most devastating fast bowlers - his Test average of 23.63 is testament to that.
Injuries have cruelled his career, however, restricting him to just 12 Tests.
"It has been very frustrating," he said of his most recent layoff.
"I got back from the Indian Premier League and then had to take time off because of my shoulder, so I sort of went backwards a bit.
"But it's one of those things. I've encountered it before and I'll do it again."
Harris admits he is unlikely to be ready for the upcoming series-opening Test against world champion South Africa at the Gabba on November 9.
"The first Test would be pushing it, but I'd like to have some part to play in that series," he said.
"It's going to be tight though.
"Going on previous injuries I've had, the medicos like you bowling a lot before you go into a Test.
"And I want to make sure I get this (comeback) right.
"I'm not going to put too much pressure on myself to get back in there.
"If I do everything right in my rehab and I do everything right for Queensland, I guess the rest will take care of itself."
With James Pattinson, Pat Cummings, Peter Siddle, Mitchell Starc, Ben Hilfenhaus and Mitch Johnson among those pushing for berths in the national side, Harris concedes he faces a battle to reclaim his spot.
"We've got some pretty good bowlers who are going all right, so it's going to be a fight to get back in there," Harris said.
However, the stocky seamer still believes he can re-emerge as a force on the international scene.
"I hope I still have something to offer. If I didn't, then I probably would have retired from that form of cricket," he said.
"I've had minor setbacks before and I've come back from them.
"There's the big South African series coming up, but if I don't play in that, we've then got Sri Lanka, India and the Ashes.
"There's a lot of cricket there that I want to be part of."
Harris will not bowl in Queensland's three-day intra-club match at Buderim.
It got under way yesterday and Harris batted with relative ease in his time at the crease yesterday afternoon.
"It was just nice to get back out there and do something," he said.
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