DURHAM will look at the option of a loan signing if they suffer any more injuries during the hectic run of Specsavers County Championship games which starts at Hove tomorrow.

After playing Sussex they have one free day on which to travel to Swansea to face Glamorgan for the first time for 12 years in four-day combat.

Then it's back to base to play Northamptonshire before heading off to Kent.

“The schedule is going to stretch some bodies,” said coach Jon Lewis. “With the travelling as well, it's not ideal for bowlers.

“We have Graham Onions fit and fresh after sitting out the Royal London Cup but Mark Wood is away with England, Barry McCarthy is with Ireland and Brydon Carse needs two more weeks to get over a back problem.”

The latest injury victim is Michael Richardson, who is likely to be out for two weeks after suffering a groin strain while batting in Tuesday's defeat by Lancashire.

It was a costly injury as he had to send for a runner and Paul Collingwood was run out shortly afterwards.

Had it not been for their two-point deduction, Durham would have finished third in the RLC north group, qualifying for a semi-final play-off.

Equally, they could have survived by winning either of their last two games and Lewis said: “It feels like a bit of a let-down. Unless Colly was there, we tended not to to organise the middle of the innings very well.

“But if you take him out, and when Stephen Cook was away, the other ten had fewer than 100 List A appearances between them and until those last two games we had done better than expected.”

The second team have four days at Emirates Riverside, starting on Monday, when it is hoped Jack Burnham will return from his broken thumb.

“There's no second team cricket for three weeks after that, so we might try to get Jack a game for Northumberland,” said Lewis. “Usman Arshad will start his comeback purely as a batsman next week.”

Graham Clark looks set to replace Richardson at Hove and Durham could hand a championship debut to either Cameron Steel or new signing Gareth Harte, the England-qualified South African who has scored two centuries in the second team.

With Ryan Pringle struggling for form, they will also consider their other off-spinning all-rounder Adam Hickey, who replaced him last season before being injured.

“We see Adam as a genuine all-rounder and that's what we want him to be,” said Lewis. “George Harding has done really well as a frontline spinner in the 50-over games, but we want our spinner to be able to bat in the top six because it balances the side. George likes to bat and is working hard at it.”

After a defeat and a draw in their opening games Durham are still heavily in deficit but did at least fare better than Sussex, who lost both their first two games.

They have Chris Jordan back from the IPL, where he played only once, and include South African Vernon Philander in what would be a very formidable pace attack were Steve Magoffin not injured.

Their seamers also include ex-Yorkshire duo Ajmal Shahzad and Ollie Robinson, who scored a century at Emirates Riverside two years ago.

Sussex were relegated that season and failed to make the expected swift return to the top flight.

James Weighell will have to wait to discover whether he has earned a place in next year's North v South series.

The Stokesley all-rounder slipped out of the automatic qualification places when his wickets dried up during the defeats in the last two Royal London Cup games.

Places are available for the top four players from the north and south in the cup's Most Valuable Player rankings and although he dropped to 16th overall Weighell finished fifth equal in the north.

But if the matches are again held in the UAE in late March they will clash with England's Test series in New Zealand, in which Keaton Jennings and Gary Ballance could be involved.

Jennings slipped from top spot to finish fourth in the rankings, and the other north qualifiers were Ballance, Warwickshire's Sam Hain and Derbyshire's Shiv Thakor.

Michael Richardson was also in contention after the early RLC games, but finished out of the running.